RICHLAND — Thirteen cats died in a house fire Friday morning in Richland.
The homeowners, Alton and Carol MacInnis, and their son were not injured in the blaze that started just after 2 a.m.
The fire caused significant damage to the home’s garage, one bedroom and vehicles in the driveway, said Curtis Walsh, a battalion chief with the Richland Fire Department.
“It was a pet rescue home, which is why there were so many cats,” he said.
Homeless or abandoned cats are cared for at pet rescue homes until permanent owners can be found. Prevent Homeless Pets and Pet Overpopulation Prevention both sponsor foster pet programs.
The call for help came in at 2:15 a.m. It took firefighters less than an hour to knock down the flames, Walsh said.
The fire is believed to have started in the home’s three-car garage, spreading into the attic, and causing smoke, fire and water damage to one bedroom as well as the two cars parked in the driveway, Walsh said.
“We’re still investigating the cause of the fire, and won’t know until the investigation continues on Monday,” he said.
Firefighters from Benton fire districts 1, 2 and 4 and Franklin Fire District 3 assisted Richland, along with Hanford Fire Department and Pasco and Kennewick fire departments.