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CALEDONIA, WI – No one was injured, and two dogs were saved during a Caledonia house fire that happened at 2:04 p.m. Tuesday in the 6800 block of Beechnut Drive.

On his way home from work, Caledonia Police officer Cory Radke had been driving on east Six Mile Road when the call came in for an active house fire. When he and his K-9 partner Louie arrived at the scene, Radke found the Southern half of the roof fully engulfed in flames, according to the Caledonia Police Department’s Facebook page.

Meeting the neighbor who called the fire into the Racine Joint Dispatch Center, he ran towards the home and asked if anyone was inside.

“Dogs,” the neighbor replied.

“Without regard to their own safety, Ofc. Radke and a neighbor entered the house and were able to rescue Deezel, a 12-year-old female Vizsla, who was unbothered by all the commotion while sitting on the couch,” according to Sgt. Jim Gardiner from the Caledonia Fire Department.

Radke picked up the dog, carried him out of the home, and handed him over to the neighbor. He then returned to the home to rescue another dog and to check the house for occupants. This time, he noticed flaming debris falling from a bathroom ceiling fan. Unable to find anyone inside the home, he left the house.

Radke then moved the homeowner’s truck and helped personnel from the Racine Fire Department when they arrived. Another dog — a 12-year-old Dachshund named Norton — escaped the fire on his own.
According to the Caledonia Police Department, the home suffered severe damages, and the cause is unknown at this time.
The home — owned by Jackie and Steven Dykstra — were not home with their children at the time of the fire.
“Officer Radke’s body camera was operating at the time of the incident, and I did have a chance to show the Dykstra’s before releasing it. They were very happy their dogs were rescued and thankful for the efforts of Ofc. Radke and the Caledonia and other area fire departments that responded,” Gardiner said.


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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.