Hundreds of animals die in Kilgore fire - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Hundreds of animals die in Kilgore fire

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) -

Hundreds of animals were killed when a fast-moving fire ripped through an exotic pet business in Kilgore on Saturday. The fire started just after 1 p.m. at a property in the 300 block of Harris St. Flames were seen shooting from a structure that held hundreds of exotic animals and pets.

"Shortly after arriving, the building was heavily involved, heavy smoke showing. The crew went inside, realized there were animals. They started trying to pull them out as many as they could until fire overtook them," says Kilgore firefighter Fred Neely.

Inside the building was everything from Macaws to sugar gliders. However, firefighters were hindered by obstacles everywhere. Neely says the property was cluttered with trees and animal cages and there was a boat and cars in the way. 

Investigators say that while the blaze was roaring, the owner of the animals was running in and out of the building trying so save them.

"We did everything we could to keep it from spreading to the church and the houses that are joined to this property," Neely says.

Though they saved some, hundreds of animals and birds were either burned to death or died from smoke inhalation. the cause of the fire has not been determined. Investigators say the owner had around $25,000 worth of stock at the location, with nearly a thousand exotic birds. There is currently no word of how many animals were lost in the fire.

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