ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Fire officials say 11 boxer puppies and two cats were killed in a residential fire in Sterling that apparently started while the owners were away.
The fire was discovered by neighbors Wednesday morning, about 2 ½ hours after the owners had departed.
Firefighters responded in about five minutes and found smoke rising from the home. The fire was extinguished within 30 minutes.
The dead pets were found during a sweep of the building.
Central Emergency Services Brad Nelson says the deaths of the animals, particularly the puppies, hit firefighters hard. He says firefighters unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate one of the puppies.
The fire caused an estimated $60,000 in damages.
Nelson says the homeowners’ insurers are planning an investigation after responders said the blaze started in the kitchen.