A large fire broke out at the Ponderosa Pet Resort in Georgetown Saturday night, about 30 miles north of Austin, according to ABC13 Houston, killing 75 dogs.
A witness captured the building up in flames, but despite the efforts of the Georgetown Fire Department, the dogs couldn’t be saved.
“It’s hard to accept the fact that we showed up in such a quick fashion, yet we were unable to save even one life in this building,” said the city’s fire chief John Sullivan, who said investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.
“We’re looking at all leads possible so that when we look these homeowners back in the eye, the property owners, those that lost family members, we can tell them, conclusively, what happened,” said Sullivan.
A day after the fire, community members staged a mass memorial for the dogs.
Pet owners and members of the community shed tears while placing flowers and photos on the facility’s barbed wire fence.
“It just kind of hurts,” said Blake Coronado, a local vet technician. “It just makes me think of what if it were my dog.”
Korin Hardt, who lost one of her dogs in the fire, spoke with KEYE-TV, and said she was left heartbroken after receiving a call notifying her of the deadly blaze.
“I broke down,” she said. “My husband was asleep, so I called him, and we figured we had to tell the kids before they saw it.”
The owner of the Texas pet-boarding company said he was devastated.
“I am emotionally overwhelmed by the accidental fire on Saturday night at our business,” Phillip Paris said in a statement Monday, according to NBC affiliate KXAN of Austin. “Fifty-nine families are affected, and their best friends won’t be coming home.”
“As a dog owner, I feel their heartbreak intensely.”
The fire remains under investigation.