20 Animals Killed in Berlin House Fire

Several other animals in the burning house were rescued by firefighters.

By Liz Dahlem and LeAnne Gendreau
|  Thursday, Feb 28, 2013  |  Updated 4:24 PM EDT
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20 animals total were killed in a Berlin house fire. Several other cats and a dog were rescued by firefighters and are now at Berlin Animal Control.

20 animals total were killed in a Berlin house fire. Several other cats and a dog were rescued by firefighters and are now at Berlin Animal Control.

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Eighteen cats and two birds were killed during a house fire at 62 Smoky Hill Road in Berlin, but firefighters were able to save seven other pets. 

The blaze broke out just after 1:30 a.m. and the female homeowner, Katherine O'Leary, was able to escape without being injured.

Matt Odishoo, the deputy fire marshal of Berlin, said the fire department brought most of the animals out and revived them, before turning them over to animal control.

The surviving animals include seven cats and one sheep dog named Quigley. They are in the custody of Berlin Animal Control.

"They look healthy. They're traumatized, obviously, but they look healthy. They're good weights," Jan Lund, the animal control officer for Berlin, said.

One other cat is missing.

O'Leary is expected to check on her animals on Thursday.

Animal control plans to go over the pet records and make sure the pets are neutered in good health before returning them to O'Leary.

No local ordinance in Berlin limits the number of pets a resident can have, Lund said, and neighbors have not issued any complaints with animal control.

The fire appears to have started in mudroom, and the cause was electrical, according to Steve Waznia, Berlin's Fire Marshal.  It caused extensive fire and water damage, fire officials said.

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