San Jose: Nearly 100 cats killed in house fire


Firefighters worked with animal control officers to remove about 100 dead cats from a San Jose home after they were killed in a fire early Tuesday morning, a fire captain said.

A woman, her dog and about five or six other cats survived the blaze, which was reported at 1:43 p.m. at a single-family dwelling in the 6900 block of Polvadero Drive, San Jose fire Capt. Reggie Williams said.

The woman had kept at least 100 cats in her home, and many had lived inside crates stacked in various rooms, Williams said.

She told firefighters that she was sleeping on the couch in the front room of her home when she heard her dog barking and soon noticed a bedroom was on fire, Williams said.

The woman called 911 and exited the rear of the home with the dog, making it to the patio, but became trapped by a fence she had put up to keep her cats in, Williams said.

She remained on the phone with an emergency operator until firefighters got to her and used axes to cut through the fence as she lay in a fetal position surrounded by smoke, Williams said.

She, the dog and the five or six cats were taken to safety, Williams said.

When firefighters entered the house, they found “a ton of cats” — at least 100 and perhaps more, Williams said.

“When we arrived, we found mainly deceased cats,” Williams said.

Some of the felines were still in the crates while others were on the floor, Williams said.

The fire badly damaged two rooms and the attic. The home is not habitable and will require major reconstruction, Williams said.

After dousing the fire, firefighters put on gloves and used shovels to pick up the dead cats and place them in crates in the home’s front yard for Santa Clara County Animal Care and Control to dispose of, Williams said.

There were no injuries to humans, and the cause of the fire is under investigation, Williams said.

(Copyright 2013 Bay City News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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