Unfortunately, the Camarillo home is best known for the catastrophe that struck on January 3, 1943. Either Dixie was taking down the Christmas tree or eldest son Gary was playing with its lights when one of the bulbs sparked and set the dry branches aflame; the fire quickly spread up the nearby drapes to the second story. Dixie, the children and the servants managed to escape, although the boys’ spaniel, Timmy, died of smoke inhalation. Bing, reportedly dining at the Brown Derby with Fred Astaire, rushed home and, according to legend, pushed past the firefighters and through the front door to retrieve his golf shoes from the foyer coat closet. Although he was famous as a golfer, his concern wasn’t for the shoes themselves, but rather for the $20,000 to $30,000 in gambling money he kept rolled up in them.