Rock Hill man cited after pit bull puppy dies in fire, police say

A Rock Hill pet owner was cited Sunday after police say his pit bull puppy burned to death when he left a fan plugged in and running while it sat atop the dog’s cage.

Officers at about 9 p.m. responded to a Joyce Court home, near McDow Drive, to perform a fire investigation, according to a Rock Hill Police report.

Ivory Williams, 25, told police that he left his house around 3:30 p.m. while a fan was plugged in and running, sitting on top of a dog cage. Inside the cage was his 16-week-old pit bull.

Williams draped a blanket over the fan and cage to “keep the dog cool,” he told police. When he returned home about five hours later, he noticed the fan had caught fire and his dog had perished in the flames.

Police found the remnants of a fan motor that “clearly caught fire” with the charred remains of a blanket, the report states. Police also found the dog’s charred body.

Williams allegedly told police the power to the house had been turned off and he ran an electrical cord from his neighbor’s house to power the fan. When he dialed 911 and requested police, he did not request the fire department to respond.

Officers cited Williams with cruelty to animals due to “negligence ... which resulted in the unnecessary and horrible death of an animal” according to the report.

On Monday, Williams expressed regret at the death of his puppy, which he cared for and cleaned “from the womb.”

“What happened was out of my control,” he said. “I take care of my pets and I love them dearly. It hurt me to the core of my heart to see my dog laying there suffering and there was nothing I could do.”

Williams said he often left the blanket on the dog’s cage to keep it cool.

“It was never a problem ... never,” he said. He said he doesn’t understand why he was cited for cruelty to animals, stressing that he takes good care of his dogs.

“I love my animals,” he said.