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Two people and a dog escaped an explosion and fire early Tuesday at a home just south of Claremont.
Firefighters said they believe an electrical failure sparked the fire in the utility room beside the carport of a home at 3601 Bethany Church Road. The fire destroyed the home, and an investigation continues.
Firefighters believe three cats did not make it out of the home alive.
Emergency officials closed Bethany Church Road between Boggs and Keisler Dairy roads for about an hour during the fire.
To read more of this story, pick up the Wednesday edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.