Fire Fighting in Canada

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More animals found in burned house

July 7, 2008, Calgary — The death toll continues to rise at a Calgary house where a couple dozen animals were trapped by a blaze.

July 6, 2008
By The Canadian Pressw


City bylaw boss Bill Bruce says his department has confirmed 15 animals were killed, including a cockatiel and 14 cats.


But fire crews also found three dead dogs after knocking down the blaze, which started Friday afternoon.


Homeowner Sherry Myshaniuk works as an animal health technologist at the Calgary North Veterinary Clinic.


Co-worker Thierry Locati says she had taken in 28 animals in all to save them from being euthanized.

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Mr. Bruce says there's no bylaw restricting the number of dogs and cats allowed in a single residence.


"You can have what you want as a pet, any number you want, as long as they are properly trained cared for medically provided for, healthy and not a threat or nuisance to the community.”


At least eight dogs and two cats were rescued from the home.


Ms. Locati says Ms. Myshaniuk is a very compassionate person and she is devastated.


"To her that's her family, so she is very upset.”


But because there were so many animals living under one roof, Cheryl Wallach says the Calgary Humane Society is investigating.


"When there are 28 animals, that is such a large volume it brings up questions,” she says. “Can you care for that many animals? It is not beyond the realm of possibility, but it takes a lot of time, a lot of work and huge finances involved as well.”


Ms. Locati says Ms. Myshaniuk takes excellent care of the animals and gets a lot of support caring for the animals from her colleagues at the animal hospital.


"All of them, with her being an animal health technologist, were very well looked after,” he says, noting some of the animals even served as blood donors to help other animals at the clinic.


Fire investigators believe the fire was caused by an old radio that overheated in the basement, which didn't have proper ventilation.