The Minden Fire Department responded to a call last week, but the only residence damaged was that of a bird.
The homeowner stated she had smelled smoke, but could not locate its origin, so she decided to call a personal contact on the department.
"There was an incident about a week ago, where a call was made to a person instead of to 911," Fire Chief Kip Mourad said. "Anytime you have an emergency, even if you know someone at the ambulance station, police or fire department, always call 911."
Placing calls to emergency numbers means a call for aid is documented and ensures calls are answered appropriately.
"They (911) are the origination that dispatches emergency personnel," Mourad said. "Make sure you call 911, not someone you know personally."
In addition to placing emergency calls correctly, Mourad said homeowners can take precautions against fires caused by animals.
"It doesn't happen all the time, but I have made similar runs over the years for the same thing from animals, mainly birds, building nests that start a fire," he said. "In this case, a bird's nest was built in an outdoor light fixture. The heat from the light bulb caused the dry grass in the nest to catch fire."
"There are things people can do to prevent things like this from happening." Mourad said.
Check attic and outside areas for nest in lights and near other electrical outlets.
Check electrical lines in attics, animals can remove insulation of electric lines.
Keep debris and vegetation, such as bushes, vines and grass away from electrical activity, such as lines coming into homes, light fixtures, wires in the attic and electrical outlets.
Try to keep house free of nest of any type of animals in the attic or outside.