At least 75 animals die in fire at Texas pet resort

GEORGETOWN, Texas — At least 75 animals were killed late Saturday when a fire engulfed a central Texas pet resort, authorities said.

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The fire broke out at the Ponderosa Pet Resort in Georgetown, KVUE reported.

Georgetown Fire Chief John Sullivan told reporters that more than 20 firefighters responded to the blaze after the department received a 911 call from the resort at about 10:56 p.m. CDT.

Crews arrived to find the resort in flames with significant smoke. Sullivan said the animals are believed to have died from smoke inhalation, KXAN reported.

There were no humans inside the building during the fire, according to the television station.

“These animals are an extension of family,” Sullivan said Sunday. “So it is a significant loss.”

Sullivan said during a news conference that he did not have a specific breakdown of animals that were killed.

Ponderosa offers training, grooming and boarding and was founded more than 10 years ago by Phillip Paris, a dog trainer and former Georgetown police officer, KXAN reported.

The fire remains under investigation, authorities said. It is unclear what caused the fire, KVUE reported.

“It’s hard to accept the fact that we showed up in such a quick fashion, yet were unable to save even one life in this building,” Sullivan said.