CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A faulty ceiling fan sparked a fire that killed 73 greyhound racing dogs (search) at a private kennel, the state fire marshal's office said Tuesday.
Losses from Sunday's blaze at ZEZ Kennels were estimated at $1 million, said Kim O'Brien, a secretary for the office's arson and explosives division.
The dogs, which had multiple owners, where kept in cages inside a 60-by-14-foot trailer, officials said.
"I wasn't real happy with that setup," Brooke County Sheriff Richard Ferguson said of the trailer. "But there is nothing I can find in the law that it was in violation of."
Ferguson said a building housing 70 more dogs on the property was not damaged in the fire.
It was unknown where the dogs raced. The kennel was not affiliated with nearby Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Center (search), said Bob Marshall, the track's president and general manager.
A woman who answered the phone at the home of the kennel's owner, Edward Zeroski, refused to comment or to take a message.
Zeroski had another deadly incident at a kennel he owned in 2000, the sheriff said. An air conditioner malfunctioned, and 50 dogs died.