More than a dozen foster pets died of smoke inhalation Thursday when the mobile home they were in caught fire from a neighboring unit, according to authorities with the Perry Volunteer Fire Department.
One mobile home was completely destroyed and a second was badly damaged in the fire at the Northgate Estates mobile home park at 2801 First Ave.
The Perry Volunteer Fire Department responded about 3:45 p.m. and found the first building fully engulfed and beginning to set the second building alight, in which the pets were housed by the property owner, who provided foster care to pets from the Raccoon River Pet Rescue in Perry.
“Nobody was home but the pets,” said Perry Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Chris Hinds, “and none of them survived.” There were 11 cats and two dogs killed in the blaze.
Hinds said the destroyed trailer was undergoing demolition and was vacant at the time of the fire.
“It is my understanding they were cutting the trailer up and parting it out to remove it from the mobile home park,” Hinds said. “I don’t know for a fact but I’ve been told they were using a cutting torch and cutting on the frame of the trailer, and that sounds like the apparent culprit.”
Assistant Fire Chief Brian Eiteman said the fire is still under investigation.
“We’re probably going to have the fire inspectors from the insurance company come in and look at it, too,” Eiteman said.
The Perry firefighters received mutual aid from the Woodward Volunteer Fire Department and controlled the blaze within about 30 minutes.
The Northgate Estates contains about 75 mobile home lots. The park was formerly known as the Bar Jac Mobile Estates.
The Perry Police Department, Perry First Responders and Dallas County EMS also responded.