|Herald photo by Ian Martens
Lethbridge firefighter Rene May carries a cat matted with singed fur away from a burning house, said to be home to dozens of cats, Tuesday on the cityÕs southside.
One person was taken to hospital as precaution following a fire that completely destroyed the home of the owner of The Last Chance Cat Ranch on Tuesday.
Fire crews were called to the home on 6 Avenue S. between 33 Street and 34 Street at 4:50 p.m.
"On arrival, crews found the house with fire coming out of all the windows," said Lethbridge fire chief Brian Cornforth.
"It was very heavily involved when we arrived. There was nobody inside the structure. One individual was home at the time and they were trying to remove some cats that we know were in the house."
The homeowner is confirmed to be Elizabeth Ginn, who also owns and operates The Last Chance Cat Ranch. She was not home at the time.
The full fate of more than 30 cats reported to be inside was unknown last night, but the City of Lethbridge's department of animal services special response team was on scene to help with the cats that were found.
The one person transported to hospital for precaution was due to possible smoke inhalation and was not believed to be in the home, Cornforth said.
"We don't believe they were in the structure at the time," he said. "They may have walked around the scene at the time of the fire."
A cause and damage amount for the fire has yet to be determined.
There was minor heat damage to the two neighbouring homes and the residents were evacuated - also as a precaution.
"Fire crews worked really hard at knocking down the fire and getting it contained to the structure and not extending to the two homes on either side," Cornforth said.
"We'll go in and mop up and fire investigators will hopefully find out what caused this fire in the next couple of days."