More than 20 cats were killed when a fire ripped through a Florida pet adoption facility on Wednesday night.
The blaze erupted at Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando, the facility said in a Facebook post. Firefighters were able to save all of the dogs, but 23 cats died.
The rescued animals have been taken to the facility’s location in Sanford for assessment and care.
Officers with Orange County Animal Services first noticed the flames at the end of their shift and contacted the fire department.
“They responded as quickly as they could to fight the blaze that was threatening to spread throughout the whole facility,” the shelter said in a statement.
Body camera footage released by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office showed deputies quickly removing dogs from the facility.
“Come on bubba,” one deputy says in the video as he puts a leash on a dog. “Come on.”
Animal Services said because of everyone’s efforts, more than 30 animals were saved from the fire.
“We’d like to recognize and thank everyone involved for their response and their courage in rescuing as many lives as they could,” the shelter said. “We also want to offer condolences to our brothers and sisters at PAGO for the loss of lives, and remind them that OCAS is always here for them, as they have been for us in the past.”
A fire official said at a news conference on Thursday that rescue attempts were hampered by a roof collapsing inside the building, which made “access to all the animals … kind of difficult.” The official said crews were able to get to the dogs quickly because of where they are housed inside the facility.
“They keep them separate,” the official said about the dogs and the cats. “So, just where the fire was and where the animals were, the dogs were in an area where the fire hadn’t really reached yet.”
At one point, the fire got so overwhelming that crews had to retreat and “attack it from our aerial streams,” the official told reporters.
The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.