On Saturday morning, a large fire at a strip mall in the Los Angeles area killed 17 cats and injured a fireman.
At 5:44 a.m., the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a structure fire in the 9000 block of West Venice Boulevard after a passerby contacted 911 to report the flames.
When the first 124 members of the LAFD arrived at the scene, they saw smoke emanating from the center of a one-story strip mall with around a dozen stores.
During what was characterized as an intensive 73-minute fire battle, crews forcibly entered and searched many businesses in the building, including the cat boarding service CatPlaceLA.
According to reports, 17 of the 19 cats rescued from the burnt premises were unable to be saved and perished at the spot. After personnel revived the two surviving cats, they were taken to an emergency veterinarian.
The department says that one firefighter got a “sudden medical illness” while trying to help with the situation and was sent to the hospital in fair condition for more care.
The fire did not result in any further injuries.
The majority of the fire damage was confined to five businesses: a nail salon, a tobacco shop, a martial arts class, a staffing agency, and CatPlaceLA. The whole of the building was filled with dense smoke owing to a common attic.
Additionally, a nearby jewelry shop and restaurant sustained smoke, water, and heat damage.
According to the LAFD, none of the affected establishments had operable fire sprinklers.
The fire’s origin is still under investigation.