Essex Junction, VT – A fire Thursday at a residence on Cherokee Way in Essex Junction took the life of the family’s dog.

No one else was at home when Essex firefighters responded to the call just after 4 p.m. By the time they arrived, the flames had reached an exterior wall of the house. After finding a side door open, firefighters extinguished the fire within minutes.

Investigators say the fire began near a gas fireplace and wall-mounted heater.

The house suffered extensive damage and is uninhabitable, fire department officials said.