Shortly after 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, firefighters in Gloucester Township, N.J. were dispatched to a fire at the Lakeview Apartments.
First arriving units found heavy fire showing through the roof in the rear of one of the buildings. Firefighters were forced to stretch five-inch hose lines over 1,500 feet from the nearest water supply.
With the fire racing through four units, firefighters made an aggressive interior attack on the exposures as they tried to cut off the fast-spreading fire. A second alarm was quickly sounded, bringing nine additional companies to help control the blaze.
All residents were able to escape, but many of their pets were still trapped in the burning apartment. Two cats were seen jumping from the second floor windows. Firefighters were able to retrieve two injured cats who received heavy burns. A litter of kittens and numerous pet dogs were also rescued.
The animals were turned over to animal control officers who had been called to the scene. The pets were later transported to a local veterinary hospital to be treated for their injuries. Some were returned to their owners who were still at the fire scene. It's estimated that over a dozen pets were safely rescued by firefighters.
Six apartments were heavily damaged by the blaze, and a few more received smoke and water damage. It took firefighters almost an hour before the fire was placed under control.
Firefighters remained on the scene throughout the day overhauling and assisting the Camden County Fire Marshal's Office, who is investigating the cause of the fire.