- Associated Press - Sunday, December 14, 2014

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - A Lawrence kennel fire that killed at least three dogs has city officials reviewing fire and pet services codes.

Firefighters evacuated 23 dogs after the blaze broke out Nov. 29 at Christal K-9. The pet care business, which was boarding almost twice as many dogs as it normally does because of the Thanksgiving holiday, sustained $60,000 in damages.

The building did not have fire alarms or sprinklers, according to a city memorandum that the Lawrence Journal-World (https://bit.ly/1uI9HA2 ) obtained. But those safety features are not required in any kennels in Kansas, the memorandum said.

One dog was alone in a playroom where the fire ignited after the motor on a box fan froze, the fire report said. The dog was already dead when firefighters broke into that room.

“We’ll be discussing whether kennels should be mandated to have a fire sprinkler,” said Lawrence City Commissioner Jeremy Farmer. “I think that is a no-brainer. Obviously what happened in that fire was devastating to the owners and families of these pets and was really unfortunate.”



Lawrence City Manager David Corliss sent commissioners the memorandum on Wednesday, briefing them on state and local boarding kennel regulations and how other cities regulate kennels. Among other things, the memo noted the city code requires businesses that board five or more dogs simultaneously to obtain a commercial kennel license. But in recent history, no boarding kennel in Lawrence has applied for a license. No commercial kennel currently has a license.

Mayor Mike Amyx said the commission would likely have a discussion soon about the city code, but it was too early to make recommendations.

“It probably is time to do a review of all the ordinances,” Amyx said. “This type of thing needs to be avoided at all costs.”

Christal K-9 owner Cedric Devin has apologized to the families for their loss and anxiety. He has said his attorneys have asked him to refrain from talking to the media.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, https://www.ljworld.com

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