Man dies in fire trying to save dogs

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A man died in a house fire when he went back inside to try to save his two dogs.

Gerald R. Lehman, 44, escaped Monday's pre-dawn fire with his wife, son and a family friend, but he became trapped after returning for the animals, fire officials said.

Firefighters found Lehman next to the Siberian huskies in a second-floor hallway. A pet raccoon and a cat also died.

An unattended candle in the living room started the blaze, a fire report said.

Elsewhere, a Stark County fire killed Robert R. Bruce, 85, of Canton Township. He died in the burn unit of Children's Hospital Medical Center of Akron of injuries suffered in a mobile home fire Sunday.

Bruce was pronounced dead at 10:40 a.m. Monday. An autopsy was arranged for Tuesday, according to the Summit County medical examiner.

Investigators were trying to determine the cause.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)