Residents search for missing pets in aftermath of...
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Mar 15, 2017  |  Vote 0    0

Residents search for missing pets in aftermath of townhouse fire

Having faced the loss of their homes, residents ask for help to find their pets

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INVESTIGATION FINDINGS

In a statement released on March 13, William Hay from the Office of the Fire Marshall said a preliminary investigation determined that the fire began accidentally on the balcony of a second-floor unit.

According to the statement, investigators haven’t established a cause or ignition source, but will attempt to find a cause through lab testing.

The fire damaged a total of 32 units, and all but one were occupied at the time. According to an earlier statement issued by the fire department, 42 units were affected in some way. In all, 70 people were displaced.

Windy conditions on March 12 posed a challenge to fire crews, driving the fire from the balcony where it originated into the roof and attic spaces. 

However, the fire department said quick intervention by firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to nearby buildings.

Nepean Barrhaven News

With the human victims of a fire that swept through a row of Nepean townhouses on March 12 accounted for, work has begun to try and find some of the missing animal victims.

On March 13, the Ottawa Humane Society called on the public to keep an eye out for lost or scared pets in the area of Baseline and Merivale roads. The hope is that those not saved by tenants might have escaped outside during the fire.

The blaze — which kept firefighters busy for hours — caused damage of $3.5 million to the Northview Road homes.

No one was injured, but 70 tenants are now homeless. And the Humane Society said in a media release that two tenants have already reached out for help finding missing cats.

Jacek, who did not want to use his last name, lived in one of the units evacuated during the fire. He and his wife and children were able to get of their apartment, but he doesn’t know how the family’s two cats fared.

“We don’t know about the cats,” he said. “The cats might be, uh … I tried to get the cats out … cats went in and … that was it.”

Sarah Oswald, manager of admissions and re-homing at the Humane Society, said the shelter expects to receive more reports of missing pets in the aftermath of the fire.

She’s appealing to people to bring stray animals found in the neighbourhood to the shelter located at 245 West Hunt Club Rd. There, lost pets will have a warm place to stay until they’re reunited with their families.

“We have families out there who have been doubly devastated, first losing everything in a fire and now missing a beloved pet,” she said in a media release. “And, if you’re missing your pet, please contact us to report it.”

To report a lost or found pet, call 613-725-9998 or visit ottawahumane.ca/services/lost-and-found to make a report any time.

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