Animals rescued from fire at New Jersey pet store

Carolina Leid reports from Franklin.
February 25, 2014 8:27:32 PM PST
Authorities rescued several animals from a fire at a New Jersey pet store.

All of the pets are staying at a nearby animal hospital and with kind hearted neighbors.

What's so amazing is the timing and the response which likely saved their lives.

They were ready to be adopted and ready for a new home.

But now, all of the animals from Pet Center on Route 23 in Franklin, New Jersey are displaced because the pet shop they were in caught fire.

"It was organized chaos. Everybody had a job. Everybody was doing a job. Animal people come together very quickly when it comes to a rescue situation as people know what to do," said Nancy Nelson, a Good Samaritan.

Nancy nelson just happened to drive by Tuesday morning on her way to work at Advanced Veterinary Care; moments after the alarm went off in the building.

She and a handful of pet lovers helped police and firefighters get the birds, gerbils, dogs, cats, and a chinchilla out of the building.

One officer suffered smoke inhalation during the rescue, but he's going to be OK.

"He was running these animals out, he was putting them in his car while people were assisting the fire department," said Detective Nevin Mattessish, of the Franklin Borough Police Department.

Dr. Michael Ramieri treated the animals and he gave Eyewitness News good news.

All of the animals are just fine thanks to the quick response.

"Especially the birds, they're extremely sensitive to things in the air, even a little bit of smoke inhalation and it could be very fatal, so luckily they got them out quickly and got them to fresh air and out of the cold as well," Dr. Ramieri said.

Police and firefighters say so far this appears to be an accidental fire but they'll continue to look into it.