ORLANDO, Fla. (NewsNation Now) – More than 20 cats were killed when flames swept through an Orlando animal shelter on Wednesday night, officials said.
Dramatic body camera video, released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, shows deputies, firefighters and animal welfare officers frantically trying to save the animals inside.
The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando reported Thursday that 23 cats were lost in the blaze, but all dogs were rescued.
Steve Bardy, the agency’s executive director, called the fire a “worst nightmare”.
He told media that rescue teams were able to safely evacuate the 25 dogs from the center as they were further away from the point of origin of the fire.
“It appears the fire started in the front building of the clinic, making it more difficult for firefighters to access the (adjacent) cat room,” Bardy told news outlets at the scene. His voice broke as he spoke about the fire.
“If you run a shelter, it is literally your worst nightmare – seeing your building on fire and knowing that there are animals inside that you need to take care of that you cannot get in,” he said. -he declares.
Orange County firefighters have been found flames “through the roof” when they arrived at the center shortly after 10:21 p.m. Wednesday, the agency said on Twitter.
At least half of the building was heavily damaged by the fire. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
The surviving dogs and some cats were taken to a Pet Alliance shelter in Sanford, officials said.
In a Facebook post, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said, “We are so glad we were able to save cats and dogs.”