Firefighters responding to a blaze in Beacon, New York, were shocked to find 70 felines in the burning home.
Authorities responded to fire on Tuesday evening, and were told by neighbors that a handicapped woman might be inside the smoking house, reports the Poughkeepsie Journal. Firefighters entered the home through the front door and discovered the fire, which officials later determined to be electrical in nature, in the kitchen. The fire was quickly extinguished, and firefighters started a comprehensive search of the home.
While the rescuers were attempting to find the woman neighbors mentioned, they stumbled upon a cache of cats: 70 felines, many in cages. No humans were inside during the fire, though the home’s owner returned an hour after firefighters responded to the blaze.
Firefighters immediately went to work removing the cats and getting all of the animals medical attention. Mid-Hudson Animal Aid (MHAA) helped the crew treat the animals. Sadly, seven of the felines died due to injuries from the blaze, while others ran away from the home during the commotion.
Forty-nine of the cats were captured, with humane traps set out for the others, and moved to MHAA’s facility. The center has created a fundraising page to help cover the felines’ mounting medical costs. All of the cats appeared to have been well cared for prior to the blaze.