Several pets die in trailer fire in Newell

NEWELL – Heather Wells says she can replace the clothes and other personal items that were lost in Wednesday’s trailer fire in Newell Heights. What she can’t replace are the two dogs that perished in the fire.

Wells said a Great Dane named Aris and an American bulldog named Athena most likely died of smoke inhalation because they were too afraid to leave.

“They just laid there and died together. They wouldn’t come out,” she said.

A bearded dragon and two hamsters also died, but a Shih Tzu named Azazel made it out alive, she said.

The fire destroyed the trailer at 304 Bentley Ave. that she and her boyfriend lived in. Neither occupant was home at the time, and Wells’ son, Dante, 9, was with his grandmother in Chester.

Newell volunteer firefighters responded at about 6 p.m., according to witnesses. They received mutual aid from Chester, Lawrenceville and New Manchester.

Neighbor Lorie Rowand, who lives across the street, said she mostly saw smoke and asked a passer-by if the trailer was on fire.

“I said, ‘The dogs are in there,'” she said.

Two men tried to get the dogs out but to no avail. Wells said the two larger dog were shy of strangers and would come only when she called them. Firefighters carried the dogs out after finding them lying next to each other in the trailer, Wells said.

“They were their babies – their pride and joy,” Rowand said. “They were upset we couldn’t get them out. We tried our best.”

Wells said she was at her mother’s when her friend Roslyn Galloway called her and said there was a fire at the trailer.

“My boyfriend saw the smoke. … He tried to kick the door down to get the dogs out, but they were too scared,” Galloway said.

Wells said Thursday afternoon that she hadn’t been back to the trailer to salvage anything.

“I keep wanting to walk down there to see,” she said.

She has no idea how the fire could have started, and Newell fire officials could not be reached for comment.

Wells said she’ll be staying with her mother until she finds a way to replace the trailer.

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