Firefighters, police and veterinarians — both on the clock and off-duty — responded to help rescue 75 cats and dogs, several of them in critical condition, from a burning kennel Sunday evening.
The Charlottesville Fire Department received a call about Pet Paradise at 601 Concord Ave. at 6:25 p.m. and arrived on scene a few minutes later, according to Battalion Chief Joe Phillips.
Firefighters worked through oppressive heat inside and outside the building to identify the source of the fire and to save the animals. They extinguished the fire around 8 p.m., Phillips said.
Residents in the area — some with firefighter, veterinary and medical skills — came to the scene to help load animals, some blackened by smoke and soot, into cars and police wagons. All of the animals in the building were brought out alive and were being transported to the Greenbrier Emergency Animal Hospital, other shelters and foster homes, Phillips said.
About 10 of the animals were in critical condition at the hospital, according to Phillips.
The city tweeted that anyone looking for information about their pet related to the fire can call (904) 363-3330, or go to the kennel's website, https://www.petparadise.com/charlottesville.htm or to their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/petparadisecharlottesville.
Phillips said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.