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Fire destroys pet sanctuary

POWELLSVILLE – An aging farm barn used to house cat pens along with feed hay was completely destroyed in a mid-afternoon blaze here on Monday.

According to Powellsville Volunteer Department Chief David Powell, even quick action from his department as well as assistance from the Trap Volunteer Fire Department could not save the structure, which burned to the ground in a matter of minutes.

“Fortunately, we were able to get all the horses to safety, and we did have one employee sustain smoke inhalation trying to save the livestock,” said veterinarian Dr. Cheryl Powell, owner of Powellsville Pet Clinic. “He was checked out and treated by (Bertie EMS) personnel. We have to give a big thanks to our staff for their great response in saving the animals.”

Dr. Powell said she also had to thank her “awesome” clients, some of whom stopped at the clinic location on NC 42 south of Powellsville just to offer assistance.

Dr. Powell added that while she was worried about the condition of the animals in getting them all to safety, four cats sustained minor burns and another feline was treated for smoke inhalation, but none were lost.

Chief Powell said the alarm came in around 2:30 Monday afternoon, and by the time his units and Trap VFD arrived, the structure was completely engulfed in flames. In addition to the structure fire, some 150 bales of hay were also consumed in the blaze.

“I want to give thanks to the Bertie Rescue Squad for checking over all the people and dealing with the confusion,” Dr. Powell wrote on her Facebook page. “Thanks to others who understood us not getting back to the phones and others who have called and messaged to check on us all.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.