Local News

Fire Hits Veterinarian's Office

Posted December 31, 1996 12:00 a.m. EST

— Investigators say they have not yet determined what caused a fire that killed one dog and a cat and left one firefighter slightly injured Monday night.

Twenty-one animals were rescued in the fire that broke out in a Chapel Hill veterinary office on Franklin Street. Veterinarian Ken Redman says that's because of some fine work on the part of firefighters.

A passing motorist called 9-1-1 and said he had spotted smoke coming from the back wing of Vine Veterinary Hospital. Fire investigators say they would like to talk to the person who made that call, since heavy fog and the location of the firee in the rear of the building made it difficult for firefighters to spot when they arrived looking for smoke.

Assistant Fire Marshal, Capt. Larry Johnson, says they would like for the person to call back and give them more information.

Once saved, the rescued animals seemed unperturbed. They were each put in plastic carriers to be moved to temporary quarters. Some were boarded at a nearby kennel while others spent the night with clinic employees.

Three Chapel Hill fire units and two rescue units answered the call. One firefighter suffered a back spasm as he was carrying animals out of the building.

The fire reignited Tuesday morning causing firefighters to return to the scene.

Fire officials say they don't expect to announce a probably cause of the fire before Thursday, but say they have not ruled out the possibility of arson.