La. Blaze Kills 23 Pets

Firefighters saved 26 animals from a burning pet business, but 23 others died of smoke inhalation.

The Barking Lot, which grooms and boards animals, was closed for the Mardi Gras holiday, but someone saw black smoke and called 911, according to a Gonzales Fire Department news release.

“The animals were in cages, and the ones that were higher up top were exposed to more smoke, and we couldn’t get to them,” Fire Chief Butch Browning said.

About 49 pets, including dogs, birds, ferrets, snakes and lizards, were in the building, the news release said. It said the fire was put out within 15 minutes, but did about $150,000 damage.

No people were injured.

The fire appears electrical, but the cause is still under investigation, Browning said.

A veterinarian checked the surviving animals; all were fine. Browning said veterinarians and kennels were holding them until the owners could be found.