May 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

17 Cats Perish, Firefighter Injured in Fire at Local Feline Boarding Center

Saturday morning fire at CatPlaceLA remains under investigation

By Sam Catanzaro

17 cats died over the weekend following a fire at a feline boarding facility on Venice Boulevard in Palms that sent one firefighter to the hospital.

According to the LAOFD, a cell phone call to 9-1-1 from a passerby at 5:44 AM on September 17, 2022, brought the first of 124 members of the Los Angeles Fire Department to the 9000 block of West Venice Boulevard, where they discovered smoke showing from the central section of a 50′ x 425′ one-story row of fifteen commercial occupancies.

During the intense firefight that included both strategic defensive and well-coordinated offensive operations, firefighters forced entry into and searched the many businesses, including CatPlaceLA, a feline boarding facility, where nineteen cats were carried from the smoke charged premises by firefighters.

“While two of the cats were safely resuscitated by firefighters and soon transported to emergency veterinary care, seventeen others were sadly beyond medical help and perished at the scene,” said LAFD spokesperson Brian Humphrey. 

According to the LAFD, though thick smoke charged the majority of the large building that featured a common attic, the bulk of direct fire damage was limited to five businesses, including a nail salon, smoke shop, martial arts studio, staffing agency, and the pet boarding facility.

Collateral smoke, heat and water damage affected an adjacent jewelry store and a restaurant. 

None of the involved businesses were equipped with optional fire sprinklers, the LAFD noted. 

One firefighter suffered sudden medical illness in the midst of the firefight, and was taken to an area hospital in fair condition for further medical evaluation. There were no civilian injuries reported.

The flames were fully extinguished in just 73 minutes. 

The cause of the fire remains under active investigation.

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