BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Investigators are trying to determine what caused a house fire that killed 16 Chihuahua dogs Thursday night.
Birmingham firefighters observed heavy smoke showing from the structure when they arrived in the 4900 block of Hillman Drive. Crews were able to quickly extinguish the house fire.
The homeowners say they were inside of their home with 19 chihuahuas and a pit bull when they noticed the flames. They were able to escape safely, along with four of the dogs.
Officials say the 16 dogs that did not make it out of the home were found all over the inside of the house.
“Part of our job is life safety. We ensured all the people were out of the house,” Captain Bryan Harrell said. “Then, as many dogs as we can get out safely, they got out safely. Then we discovered there were other dogs in the house that didn’t make it.”
The structure suffered significant damage. According to Captain Harrell, it is not livable.
Officials believe the fire may have started in the bedroom. The fire is still under investigation.