A massive fire at a strip mall in the Los Angeles area killed 17 cats and injured a firefighter Saturday morning.
The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a structure fire in the 9000 block of West Venice Boulevard around 5:44 a.m. Saturday after a person passing through the area called 911 to report the flames.
When the first 124 members of the LAFD arrived at the address, they saw smoke coming from the central section of a one-story strip mall containing about a dozen businesses.
Firefighters brought 19 cats out of the charred business, but 17 of them were reportedly beyond medical help and died at the scene. The two remaining cats were transported to an emergency vet after crews were able to resuscitate them.
The department said one firefighter suffered “sudden medical illness” while battling the blaze and was taken to the hospital in fair condition for further evaluation.
There were no other injuries in the fire.