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Fresno firefighters work to rescue dozens of animals from burning home

Fresno firefighters who arrived at a burning duplex in southeast Fresno rescued dozens of dogs and cats that were trapped inside.

The duplex, at North Orchard Street and East Grant Avenue, just east of Highway 41, caught fire about 11:30 a.m. Monday.

No people were hurt in the blaze, but firefighters were trying to determine how many of the animals made it out of the blazing structure alive, Fire Capt. Bob Van Tassel said. Initial estimates placed the number of animals at the home at more than 30.

He said two families lived inside the duplex and an unknown number of people were displaced. Once the flames were knocked down, the 23 firefighters on scene began a rescue mission for the animals, which they carried to a home across the street. SPCA officials were called to the block to assess the situation and provide shelter for the animals.

There was no immediate information about why so many dogs and cats were in the home. At least one puppy that sustained smoke inhalation was given CPR by a firefighter, who also used a resuscitator on the animal.

The fire, which started in a bedroom, is under investigation, as is the amount of damage.

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