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A fire on Thursday afternoon (Feb. 13) burned down a Dittmer family’s house and killed their pets. None of the family members were home when the fire broke out at the home in the 8900 block of Shur Lee Lane, said Greg Shuster, assistant chief with the Cedar Hill Fire Protection District.

He said he did not know how many people live in the home or how many animals were lost in the fire.

Shuster said neighbors called Cedar Hill Fire at 12:24 p.m. to report the blaze at the one-story, ranch-style house.

“The first unit arrived on scene at 12:38 p.m. and found the house fully involved,” Shuster said. “Absolutely, it’s a total loss. There were some animals in the house. They did not survive.”

He said no firefighters were hurt, but it was a difficult call because of the frigid conditions.

“Not only did the firemen have to battle the blaze, but it was cold and windy,” he said.

Crews were on the scene until about 2:45 p.m., Shuster said.

The cause of the fire had not been determined, but it does not appear suspicious, he said today (Feb. 14).

The High Ridge, Eureka, Pacific and St. Clair fire protection districts and the Big River Ambulance District helped with the call.