On January 1, 2013, firefighters answered to a call regarding a house fire in Halifax, Mass. The homeowners, William and Anne Ohara, had escaped the fire but seven dogs were discovered deceased in the basement.
Ohara is being cited for running an unlicensed kennel, according to the Patriot Ledger. There were a total of 18 dogs being kept in the small house, all in cages. The seven dogs that perished had no chance of escape since they were locked in crates in the basement. Many of the dogs belonged to other people. Though Ohara does not have a kennel or business license, a truck in his driveway read “K9 Training.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation but investigators speculate a candle or electrical issue in the basement, where the fire started. Five other dogs went missing but are now presumed dead, and six other dogs survived the fire.
The Patriot Ledger reported Halifax Fire Chief William Carrico stating a disturbing scene. “It was horrific down there, just tremendous damage,” Carrico said. “They were in cages in the basement.”
It is unknown where the surviving six dogs are and what their condition is. Officials are investigating. Police are also trying to get a list of the dog owners. Breeds included Labradors to German Shepherds.
The citation only carries a $50 fine and no charges have been filed.
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