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Rescue Dog Togo, Killed In Suspicious Venice Fire, Mourned At Beach Candlelight Vigil

SANTA MONICA (CBSLA) — A beloved family dog who was killed in a house fire was remembered Sunday with a candlelight vigil on the beach.

Togo vigil Laurie Fernandez
(credit: Laurie Fernandez/CBS)

Togo, a rescue dog recently trained as a service animal, was killed on April 21 in a house fire. Locals in the Venice neighborhood where he lived believe the fire was started by homeless people in the area.

"What we need to do right now is hopefully find – not blame, but find a way to move forward through all this, especially through a tragic loss in not only a human, but a beloved pet, who is not only meant to love and help others," Togo's trainer, Devon Steigerwald, said at the vigil.

Neighbors have been expressing concern for months about the fire risks that come with homeless encampments in the area, and they say they hope Togo's death will prompt changes. However, the Los Angeles fire Department says the cause of the fire that killed Togo remains undetermined, and there's no evidence that any homeless persons were involved.

However, to address the concerns of Venice residents, the city and Los Angeles Fire Department will launch a fast response vehicle unit dedicated to fire risks in the ocean front walk area of Venice.

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