Firefighters carried animals from a strip mall pet store after they sawed through a metal gate to enter the unit and attack a fire that damaged the building's roof Monday morning in the East Hollywood area.
Aerial video showed firefighters carrying a cage of puppies from the building at 1193 N. Vermont Ave. (map), identified as Kim's Pets and Fish. More puppies were carried out one-by-one from the building after the fire.
"It was a challenge because we had the roof collapse in the back," said Los Angeles Fire Department battalion chief David Frelinger. "Unfortunately, we had some loss of pet life, but there was a whole list of different animals that we were able to recover."
About 25 puppies were rescued from the building, Frelinger said.
Containers with birds, rabbits, frogs, mice, fish and other animals also were carried from the store after the fire. All of the rescued animals are expected to survive, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department, but it was not immediately clear whether there were more animals in the building.
Glass fish aquariums inside the store broke during the fire, which was reported at about 6 a.m. The fire damaged at least one unit of the strip mall at Lexington and Vermont avenues. Firefighters used a circular saw to cut through a metal gate and enter the building.
The fire, confined to one story, sent a column of black smoke above the neighborhood. Crews were on the roof of the two-story building during a patrial collapse that sent fire above the roof, said Asst. Fire Chief Andy Fox.
No injuries were reported.
After white smoke cleared, aerial video showed a hole in the roof of one unit. At 6:45 a.m., the fire appeared to be knocked down.
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Nearby streets were closed during the fire fight and cleanup.
Investigators are attempting to determine the cause of the fire.
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