FIREFIGHTERS working in extreme cold Tuesday morning rescued a dog named Theodore from a burning house on Trent Avenue in East Kildonan.
"We got the dog out. There was nobody home but him," district fire chief Robert Dziadekwich said.
Fire crews kept the dog warm in the bac seat of the district chief's SUV.
The homeowner's father, Don Giesbrecht, later took in Theodore.
Giesbrecht said his son and daughter-in-law were at work when the fire started. The dog was unharmed and in good shape, he said.
The fire was confined to the attic of the 11/2-storey home in the 200 block of Trent Avenue. Because of the extreme cold, multiple fire crews spelled each other off, battling for nearly 90 minutes to get the flames under control. There were 32 firefighters, working in four crews, at the fire.
Southern Manitoba has been caught in an arctic grip for two days, with windchill warnings of -40 C to -43 C.
The district fire chief said the cause of the fire had yet to be determined and there were no estimates on damage.
"The fire was confined to the attic area and there was very little damage to the main floor," Dziadekwich said.
Theodore, a cocker spaniel-poodle cross, was trembling with fear after his harrowing rescue.
Theodore greeted Giesbrecht affectionately, nuzzling the man's hand when he leaned into the back seat to pet him.
Giesbrecht said he planned to keep the dog with him until his son could pick him up.
The couple bought the house about four years ago, renovated the kitchen and painted the exterior stucco. But they hadn't done any work in the attic where the fire started.
Giesbrecht said his Christmas gifts to his children this year were fire extinguishers. But it didn't do any good because there was nobody at home when the fire started shortly before 9 a.m.
The house is about a century old.
One neighbour said house fires in that area aren't unusual because of the age of the homes.
"I drove home this morning, hoping it wasn't mine," said one neighbour. "Mine burned down two years ago," he said, heading back to the warmth of his car.