100 cats burned to death in San Jose CaliforniaBy Mason White 5:01 AM July 17, 2013
|Scene of the fire|
By: Ryan Lee Hall
(Scroll down for video) A tragedy struck San Jose, California, according to fire officials.
The San Jose Fire Department said that 100 cats died early Tuesday in a fire at a house where the homeowner installed fences to enclose the animals. The homeowner was briefly trapped in the burning home before firefighters cut the fence and rescued her.
According to fire Captain Reggie Williams, the resident, a woman, 70, turned her home into a cat sanctuary. She served as a cat savior. She cared for the animals by preparing them for adoption.
“There were cats in every room of the home,” Williams said.
The homeowner in the 6900 block of Polvadero Drive near Bernal Avenue and Santa Teresa Boulevard, called police at 1:43 am after the dog who lived with her woke her up. She then saw the fire and smoke coming from another room.
“She had a smoke detector, but for some reason it did not work, but the dog alerted her to the fire,” Williams said.
A fire dispatcher instructed her to leave the house, and she went out a back door, but was trapped in the courtyard because it was enclosed with wire mesh to keep her cats from escaping.
It took an hour for firefighters to extinguish the flames. Then, firefighters removed almost 100 dead cats, most of whom died from smoke inhalation rather than direct contact with fire.
Neither the resident nor any member of the fire department were injured. Her dog also managed to escape.
Six cats that survived the fire were delivered to the custody of the Animal Services Department of the city.
Williams said the cause of the fire is under investigation, but it does not seem suspicious.