Family dog turns on stove, starts New Jersey fire. It's happened before.

Fire investigators believe a pet dog left alone turned on the stove and set fire to a house in Lacey Township, N.J.

Police say a New Jersey family's dog turned on the stove, which caught the laptop resting on the burner on fire and sent smoke through the roof.

The fire was reported early Friday evening in Lacey Township while the owners were away.

Police tell the Asbury Park Press that investigators believe the dog accidentally turned on the stove, though they didn't specify how that occurred.

Police say heat from the stove eventually burned a laptop computer that had been left on top of the appliance. Smoke was pouring from the roof when firefighters arrived, but the blaze was quickly extinguished.

Firefighters rescued the dog, which emerged unscathed.

It turns out that a stove-starting dog may not be as far fetched a scenario as some may think.

In 2012, fire investigators concluded a dog turned on an electric stove in Saskatoon, Canada, reports the CBC-News.

Fire officials said there were buns and a box of apples sitting on the counter at the time. The stove is an electric smooth-top type with control knobs on the front.  

They think the bigger of the two dogs was likely trying to get at the food.

"It seems like a reasonable assumption, based on food that was on top of the stove and the dog having access to it," acting assistant fire chief Brent Hart told CBC News.

Dog-related fires have happened elsewhere. In February, a house in Vancouver, Wash., was destroyed after a dog jumped up on a stove and inadvertently turned on the burner.

And Petsafe.net also warns that pets can cause household fires.

It is difficult for many of us to believe that our pets can actually be the culprit when it comes to starting the fire. Fret not, fellow reader, simple preventative measures, such as flameless candles and removing the stove knob covers, can mean the difference between life and death for your four-legged pyromaniac friends.

Pets, who enjoy the past time of counter surfing, can be the most likely candidates for turning on a gas stove. He gets on the counter, sees something tasty – or even licking the grease from around the burners, his paw slips and he accidentally hit the stove knob and turned on the gas burner. Something that you don’t think about, but it really does happen.

This site offers nine steps to prevent pets from igniting your stove, including removing the stove knobs.

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