One cat rescued in blaze still being investigated
By Kate Croxton / Times-News
A house fire on North Ireland Street ended with a family of four holding their one surviving cat while two other cats were found dead.
Burlington firefighters responded to a call of a house fire about noon Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 408 N. Ireland St. Smoke and fire were coming from the front part of the house, Battalion Chief Brad Bailey said.
“They made entry,” Bailey said. “They did find a room with a fire that extended a little into the house, into the attic. All the human occupants were out of the house when they arrived.”
A neighbor said the family was outside when the fire was noticed.
The fire department was able to extinguish the fire, and while they were taking a break, a large fan was used to push the heat, smoke and toxic gas out of the structure to make it easier for the firefighters to go back inside and check the house, Bailey said.
The fan also exposed a hidden fire. The firefighters cut a hole in the roof to access the hotspot and extinguish the hidden fire.
The Fire Department did not know the cause of the fire Tuesday afternoon.
While all four human occupants escaped the fire, two of the three house cats did not. The firefighters were able to save one cat, which was alive when found.
“They brought that cat out,” Bailey said. “We administered some oxygen to the cat. The homeowner got the cat, and she has been giving the cat oxygen and I think the cat is doing pretty good.”
The other two cats were found dead.
“We have retrieved those animals for the homeowners, and we have got them in an area and they are going to bury them,” Bailey said.
Bailey said the Red Cross was notified and was on its way to assist the family.
“We are fortunate that nobody was hurt here,” Bailey said. “We hate to lose the animals. It is never good for something like this to happen anytime, especially at Christmas. I think these folks will be fine and they will bounce back.”
Reporter Kate Croxton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-506-3078. Follow her on Twitter at @katecroxtonBTN.