Home full of animals burns in Olympia

DeHart Drive: 5 birds die, but pig, dogs, other birds rescued

ckrotzer@theolympian.comSeptember 6, 2012 

Firefighters rescued dogs, birds and a pig from a DeHart Drive home in Olympia that caught fire Wednesday morning, but not all of the animals survived.

Six engines, medics and command trucks responded to the fire, which was reported at 7:22 a.m. by a man walking down the street. Pacific Avenue between DeHart Drive and Phoenix Street was blocked off for more than an hour as crews responded.

Smoke and flames billowed from the back of the two-story, turn-of-the-century house, causing an estimated $30,000 in damage. Squeals from the pig could be heard as firefighters tore holes in the roof.

The cause and origin of the fire are under investigation, according to department communications officer Kate McDonald.

Animals were still being rescued from the home well after the fire was out.

“The house is structurally sound, but not biologically safe,” McDonald said, referring to the amount of feces found inside. “We are not having our crew members go in unless they are wearing breathing apparatuses.”

Several animals died, including five birds. The pig was captured and later taken to a veterinarian, according to Susanne Beauregard, director of Animal Services.

Animal control was called to the scene, but the owner was afraid to let the animals go to the Animal Services shelter, Beauregard said.

“They wanted us to arrange with a rescue out of Yelm to take the animals,” Beauregard said.

Several uninjured dogs were placed in a van in the driveway of the house while crews battled the flames.

ckrotzer@theolympian.com 360-754-5476 theolympian.com/thisjustin @chelseakrotzer

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