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Mobile home goes up in flames; dog perishes

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Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 5:10 pm, Mon Oct 31, 2011.

A mobile home went up in flames and a small dog perished during the fire on the east side of Cherokee Lane north of Lockeford Street.

Jacki Garafolo, who lived alone at the mobile home park at 324 N. Cherokee Lane, wasn't home when firefighters responded at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Lodi Fire Department Battalion Chief Gene Stoddart.

But Garafolo was shaking when she walked back to her home a short time after firefighters arrived.

Her dog, Feather, was in the burning smoke-filled home.

"Oh my God," she repeated several times as she walked from Cherokee Lane into the driveway.

"We knew the dog was in there," said neighbor Kathy Kinderman, who saw smoke come out of Garafolo's air conditioner. "Oh, that (dog) is all she has."

Kinderman and other neighbors were relieved to learn that Garafolo wasn't home when the structure caught fire.

While firefighters broke windows and doors to knock down the flames, paramedics from American Medical Response gave Feather cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. But their rescue efforts weren't enough.

Meanwhile, Garafolo held her dog for at least an hour after he died, continually petting him while sitting on a neighbor's bench. Kinderman sat on the bench and consoled her.

Stoddart said Sunday evening that the cause of the fire had not been determined.

Stoddart said that American Red Cross was getting Garafolo a place to stay along with food and clothes. Firefighters called Lodi Animal Control, with firefighters doing whatever necessary to give the dog a proper burial or cremation.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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