Fire Safety Home Causes Fire in Arkansas

MAGNOLIA, Ark. (AP) -- A portable house used to teach children how to escape from a burning home clipped a power line while it was being towed Tuesday, causing a nearby house to catch fire.

No people were hurt, but a dog died in the blaze.

The unlikely series of events started while the Fire Department towed the Arkansas Children's Hospital ``smokehouse'' to an elementary school. Firefighters had taken the route before. But since the last visit, new utility poles were installed, and the smokehouse caught a low wire, pulling it away from the home of Cassie Farrar.

Farrar's home caught fire, and her Chihuahua died of smoke inhalation.

Also, a live wire fell on the Fire Department pumper truck that was following the smokehouse to the school, so the truck could not be used to put out the fire.

Other firefighters got crossed up on their directions and were late arriving at the burning home, which was extensively damaged.

The smokehouse is used to teach children around the state about fire safety. Non-toxic smoke is pumped into the house to simulate a fire while children learn to stay low and find the exit. The smokehouse was not damaged.

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