KINGMAN - Six cats were rescued by the Kingman Fire Department after firefighters responded to a house fire in the 600 block of Latigo Lane Wednesday afternoon.
Another 27 cats were found dead inside the residence after firefighters got the blaze under control.
No one was home when the fire began just after 3 p.m. A neighbor called 911 after observing smoke pouring out of the home's eaves and vents.
Battalion Chief Bill Johnston said firefighters encountered heavy smoke from floor to ceiling when they entered through the front door. They conducted an initial sweep of the home to make sure no one was inside. The fire was contained to the kitchen and laundry area of the home. After firefighters extinguished the blaze, they conducted a salvage operation, during which they discovered the numerous cats.
Six viable cats were discovered. Firefighters used specialized equipment donated by a national pet advocacy group to revive three of the cats at the scene.
All six of the cats were later transported to area pet hospitals.
It was the first time the equipment had been used by the department, Johnston said. The kits include breathing and oxygen delivery apparatus for dogs and cats.
An elderly woman who lived at the residence arrived at the scene after the fire was under control. She is staying with friends and family.
The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental and is currently under investigation.