A dog and a number of cats were killed in a fire in Colchester on Wednesday afternoon.
The fire was reported at a home on Hammond Court.
Officials said there were “very difficult conditions” inside the home, as there was a hoarding situation found.
At least 10 animals were inside the home when the fire happened, but despite the efforts of firefighters, they all did not make it out alive.
Fire officials said a Pomeranian and a number of cats were killed in the fire.
There were four other cats and two other dogs in the home as well and were treated at the scene, but they are expected to be okay.
Ashley Bae, who lives next door to the home, said she called 911, and a volunteer firefighter who lives nearby arrived within minutes.
"He just put on his uniform and went in there, bashed the door in and got the six animals out," Bae said.
Fortunately no people were home when the fire happened, but investigators said they had trouble extinguishing the flames. They claimed the homeowner is a hoarder, although neighbors disagree.
Tracey Crowley lives across the street and is friends with the homeowner who she describes as a caring mother of three daughters. She says the whole neighborhood grieves for the family.
“I don't have any words for lost pets. I feel for the girls, you know that they're crushed. When they find out that their pets have gone, never mind whatever has happened to their house,” Crowley said.
Neighbors said the homeowner was in the process of moving out so the family does have a place to stay.
Investigators don't know yet what caused the fire but said it started in a second-floor bedroom.
Crews from Salem, Yantic, Marlborough and Hebron were called to the scene to assist.
The state fire marshal is determining the cause and origin of the fire.
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