20 Cats, dogs killed in mobile home fire in New River

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

NEW RIVER, Ariz. -- A mobile home fire in New River that killed 20 cats and dogs is under investigation.

It happened at about 9 p.m. Wednesday near 16th Street and Carefree Highway.

While they don't know exactly what sparked the fire, Daisy Mountain firefighters told 3TV they believe it started in the kitchen, possibly from something cooking on the stove.They also think whatever was burning was plastic, which means the smoke was particularly toxic.

The homeowners were not home at the time. A neighbor called 911 after seeing the smoke.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, the mobile home was filled with thick noxious smoke. Capt. Alex Rangel of the Daisy Mountain Fire Department said such intense smoke is extremely dangerous.

"Just a couple of breaths and you could succumb to the smoke," he said.

That's what happened to the cats and dogs. Firefighters tried to save the animals, even performing CPR on several.

Although they could not save the pets that were inside the mobile home, crews rescued several dogs that were in pens right outside.

According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, the homeowner told deputies she ran a foster home for rescued animals.

The home is a total loss because of the smoke damage.

The fire is being investigated.