Their clothes and furniture will need to be replaced. The woman and her mother have to find another place to live after their townhouse was gutted by fire.
But a neighbor worried Monday that it will be the loss of Scout, the women's beloved black Labrador retriever, that will hit them the hardest.
Ann Arbor firefighters performed CPR on the dog after they found him lying under the Christmas tree in the only corner of the house not in flames, but the effort was in vain.
The women, whose names were not available Monday afternoon, arrived at their rental home at 2434 Pinecrest Ave. about 90 minutes after neighbors called to report the fire at 12:40 p.m.
The fire was caused by a welding torch used on frozen pipes, fire officials said.
Ann Arbor Fire Battalion Chief Robert Vogel said the small ranch was gutted, and the women lost all their belongings. Damage was estimated at $150,000 to the house and $100,000 to its contents.
The Red Cross was assisting.
Neighbor Samantha Banda said the dog was "a big part of their family.'' She called the women wonderful neighbors and said they repaid her help pushing their car out of a snowbank with a plate of homemade tamales.
She and other neighbors were discussing Monday how to help the women. Anyone who wants to assist can contact the Red Cross at 734-971-5300.
Susan Oppat can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 734-994-6679.