NEWBERG, Ore. – Fire ripped through a Newberg pet store on Thursday morning, killing many animals inside.
The fire at Critter Cabana in the 500 block of East First Street was reported at 7:50 a.m. and by the time fire crews arrived, the pet shop was engulfed in flames.
Firefighters worked quickly to knock down the flames then started to bring surviving animals out of the store. They were aided by dozens of people who showed up to help treat the animals and take them to another Critter Cabana location in Wilsonville.
“I love this community,” said store owner Brittani Johnson. “Newberg’s amazing; they always have been and this particularly really shows their heart and true spirit.”
Local veterinarians also showed up to help treat animals.
It’s not clear how many animals were in the store and how many survived, but including small animals and fish there were likely hundreds of animals inside. The fire chief believes most of them died in the fire.
Most of the surviving animals brought out right after the fire were reptiles.
“We did have birds, small animals, shelter kittens, local puppies,” Johnson said. “If I actually think about the animals that are in there, I can’t think about it.”
No people were injured in the fire.
Around 55 firefighters from several agencies came to help since the store was located in a two-story building connected to other old buildings. The buildings also did not have sprinkler systems, Newberg Fire Chief Frank Douglas said.
During the fire, Newberg Fire also received reports of a car wreck, several other medical calls and a second unrelated fire. Due to the high volume of calls, they had to rely heavily on help from other agencies in Yamhill, Washington and Marion Counties.