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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Austin HornbostelFirst responders work to put out a house fire on East South Street Friday afternoon.

A house fire claimed a home Friday afternoon near the Moniteau County Fairgrounds.

The home was located on East South Street a few houses down from the entrance to the fairgrounds. The homeowner wasn't home at the time of the fire, but his dog was lost to the blaze. The Red Cross has already stepped in to assist the affected homeowner.

California Fire Chief Allen Smith said besides the lost home and dog, there were no other injuries or damages caused by the fire.

Smith said it's uncertain precisely what the cause of the fire was, due to the amount of damage to the structure when emergency vehicles arrived on the scene.

"It's going to be hard to determine if there's an exact cause," Smith said.

However, Smith said the fire did seem electrical in nature and more than likely was unintentional.

California Police Department Officer Casey Shelton said she was on her regular patrol near the fairgrounds when she saw the smoke coming from nearby. Shelton hurried to the scene and quickly noticed the home in question. She called in the fire at 1:17 p.m.

The flames were coming out the window, Shelton said, and could still be seen in the upper levels of the house more than an hour and a half after she first arrived as fire crews fought the blaze.

"When I first (saw) it, the smoke wasn't that bad. But I thought, 'That's too much smoke for a chimney.' I've been through here a thousand times, I've never seen that," Shelton said. "So I flew up here, because I knew something was off."

Smith said a fire this severe typically is noticed more quickly by passersby than last week's was.

"One thing that's really odd about this is given the time of day, it's odd that this fire wasn't spotted earlier than when it was by neighbors or other people nearby," Smith said.

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