More than 90 cats killed in San Jose house fire

July 16, 2013 11:10:18 AM PDT
A fire broke out in a home in south San Jose filled with nearly 100 rescued cats. Firefighters saved the woman who lived there, but made a tragic discovery inside the house. The woman is absolutely devastated by the loss.

It wasn't the smoke alarm, but a dog named Bunny, that probably saved the life of Carole Miller this morning.

"When Bunny woke me I was asleep on the sofa and there wasn't really smoke then and I just sniffed the air and I just thought something is wrong and I got up and I immediately saw flames," said Miller.

Miller tried to escape but was trapped in an enclosure meant to keep her 100 or so cats inside the home. Firefighters cut through the fence and led her to safety. But inside, about 93 cats were killed by the smoke and fire; seven cats survived.

The next door neighbor described the noise coming from inside the home.

"Unfortunately we could hear them screaming. So it was devastating," said neighbor Deborah Garcia.

Miller said she works for the Stanford Cat Network, which spays and neuters cats roaming the university's campus. Since it's a no-kill organization she says she brought the un-adoptable ones to her home.

Animal control last visited the home in January 2012 and told me the cats were healthy and the home clean, but she was not registered to have more than five cats in her home. As for Miller, the woman who dedicated her life to these cats, she must deal with a tragic loss.

"I am so careful and this is my worst nightmare. I just don't know where to go from here," said Miller.

Animal control says it's still investigating if a citation will be given to the homeowner for having too many cats.


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