Employees of a no-kill animal shelter in Long Island arrived at work on a recent Tuesday morning to find thick clouds of smoke pouring out of the chimney and engulfing the building that was housing 15 dogs.
Kent Animal Shelter
veterinary technician Barbara Wansor told Riverhead Local
It was like a black wall. It was just engulfed with this black, dark smoke.
Wansor and Jennifer Conner, another vet tech, dashed into the smoke-filled kennel, not knowing what they'd find -- but sure they couldn't leave the dogs, who were kenneled, with no possibility of escape.
Barbara also told the newspaper:
A part of me said, ‘Barbara, don’t go in there. It’s probably not safe.' But I knew there were animals in there that needed to be saved.
The workers made their way through the smoke-filled building, opening the kennels one by one -- hoping, each time, not to find fire.
Thanks to these selfless efforts, all fifteen of the shelter's dogs made it out alive.
Firefighters determined that the smoke had been caused by a faulty oil burner. The shelter will need to buy a new burner -- donations have been coming in
, to cover the replacement -- as well as new toys, blankets, towels and other paraphernalia that became covered in soot, and ruined.
A week and a half after this terrifying incident, the shelter still doesn't have the new boiler, or all the toys and towels it needs for its animals. (You can help, by donating here
But the adoptions must go on -- and Kent Animal Shelter is back to "normal working operation," adoption coordinator Joanna Casey said to us. "We've recovered."
Watch a local news report about the fire and rescue below:
Featured image via RiverheadLocal.
h/t via CBS New York.