GEORGETOWN, Texas — A total of 75 dogs died over the weekend when a fire broke out at a pet-boarding facility in Georgetown, Texas.
The Georgetown Fire Department says the Ponderosa Pet Resort was engulfed in smoke when crews responded to the facility shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday.
Georgetown Fire Chief John Sullivan says no dogs staying at the resort survived and officials believe the animals inside died from smoke inhalation, not from the flames. No humans were reportedly injured in the blaze.
“We know each dog that died in this fire was a cherished member of someone’s family, so our heart goes out to all those who were affected by this tragic fire,” Sullivan said in a statement.
Fire investigators are still working to determine the cause and origin of the fire by watching video recordings and conducting interviews. But officials say there’s no information at this time that indicates the cause of the fire was criminal in nature.
The owner of the facility has reportedly been cooperating with investigators and is now releasing the deceased pets back to their families. The business has confirmed that 59 families lost pets in the incident.
The fire department says it last inspected the facility in 2015, at which time it found no violations to fire codes.
Officials say federal, state, and city fire codes didn’t require the facility to have a sprinkler system. City code requires sprinklers for businesses of at least 10,000 square feet. The facility involved in the fire has a square footage of 8,125, according to the fire department.
The city is reportedly reviewing its fire codes and officials expect to present recommended updates to the city council this fall, including options that could impose additional safeguards in animal care facilities.