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Eight Animals Die, 40 Rescued From Smoky Store

November 27, 1988

NEW YORK (AP) _ Firefighters, police and animal-loving passers-by rescued about 40 purebred kittens and puppies from a smoke-filled pet store after an electrical fire on Saturday, authorities said.

Six puppies and two cats died in the fire, which began in the basement of the International Kennel Club on Manhattan’s East Side and sent smoke through a four-story building, said Sgt. Maurice Howard, a police spokesman.

Two people living above the store were treated at New York Hospital for smoke inhalation and released, said firefighter John Pitacco.

The store was full of smoke when firefighters arrived and began the hectic effort to rescue the animals from cages, Pitacco said.

″As the firefighters and officers got them out, they were handing them over to the civilians,″ he said.

Jason Flanders, 11, said he helped rescue two kittens.

″I was scared and I was kind of sad ... I was crying,″ he said. ″I’m glad everybody worked together.″

Dr. Lawrence Zola of the nearby New York Veterinary Hospital said one firefighter came in holding an oxygen mask over a kitten’s mouth, ″a pretty amazing sight.″

Zola said the animals saved were all under 4 months old and probably sold for $400 to $1,000. The puppies ranged from small breeds such as Lhasa apsos and corgis to Old English sheepdogs; the cats were various breeds.

″Most have done very well and begun to recover,″ he said. The fact that the veterinary hospital was so close ″probably saved a lot of them.″

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