Thursday, August 19, 2010

Update On The House Fire Yesterday - More Casualties Than Initially Reported

Toronto Animal Services is investigating after 30 cats and one dog were killed in a house fire Wednesday afternoon.
The homeowner called in the blaze around 1:30 p.m., when he noticed flames pouring out from between the stacked washer and dryer at the back of the Burnfield Ave. home, near Ossington Ave. and Dupont St., said Toronto Fire Capt. Mike Strapko.
“He grabbed a fire extinguisher and tried to put it out, but the smoke kept coming,” Strapko said.
By the time firefighters arrived, the two-alarm fire had engulfed the entire kitchen. It was knocked down quickly, but 31 of the family’s pets had already died from smoke inhalation, Toronto Animal Services supervisor Mary Lou Leiher said.
Four cats, including two kittens, are still alive, but one has critical injuries. Five other cats are still unaccounted for.
“One of the cats was burnt so bad it had to be euthanized on scene,” Strapko said. “These people were pet lovers . . . They were an important part of their family.”
Toronto Animal Services officials were less forgiving, saying the number of animals in the home far exceeded the six pets that homeowners are permitted by city bylaws.
“We didn’t know about the cats,” Leiher said. “It’s really not in the best interest of the cats to be living in a house with that many other cats.”
According to Leiher, Toronto Animal Services is looking into the situation and has taken steps to provide a veterinarian to care for and monitor the injured animals.
“Every case is judged on its own merit,” she said. “We’re not considering any charges at this time — that’s all that I can really say.”
No one else was hurt in the fire, which officials estimated caused about $400,000 damage.

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