3 cats die in 'hoarding' house fire

8:42 AM, Oct 11, 2012   |    comments
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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue says a house crammed wall-to-wall with furniture and other items caught fire Wednesday night, killing three cats.

Firefighters say they had a difficult time battling the blaze because the home was being used as storage for large stock piles of lawnmowers, weed eaters, blowers, and gasoline cans. They had to clear a path to get into the house and, once inside, they said that every room was packed from the floor to the ceiling.

"In my 32 years on this department, I've never seen anything like this," said District Chief Neil Crumity.

According to the homeowner, no one was living in the house at the time, but three cats and two birds were in the building. Firefighters were able to rescue the two birds, but the cats all died in the fire.

St. Pete Fire Rescue said the fire took approximately an hour to extinguish due to the hazards encountered.

According to fire investigators, the fire started in the kitchen area and was electrical in nature.

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