Friday, December 26, 2014

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Western NY

Twenty-Six Animals Lost in Canandaigua House Fire

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Rochester: Twenty-Six Animals Lost in Canandaigua House Fire
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"Completely engulfed in white smoke and heat... intense heat..."

Lori Hicks says around 11 o'clock Monday night, she noticed the smoke coming from the basement. Her home was on fire.

She called 911, woke up her fiance, Harold Power, to get out of the house. Then Lori began to try and save her animals.

"(They were) In the crates. They were down in the kennel room."

Lori breeds Alaskan Malamutes like Hannah. She was able to get some of her dogs out of the burning home. A firefighter was able to rescue another. But seven adult dogs, 12 puppies and seven cats died in the fire.

"These were champion working dogs. Champion obedience dogs. Weight pull dogs, confirmation dogs, and my best friends."

Ontario County Fire Coordinator Jeff Harloff says firefighters were on scene in just 11 minutes. The fire that started in the basement moved quickly and intensely.

Harloff says an electrical problem with heaters that were used to keep some of the dogs and the puppies warm may be to blame for the fire.

"For the firefighters, a lot of them are pet owners and this is a disturbing event for everybody involved, law enforcement and fire service personnel. When you work in a condition with deceased animals, it plays on quite a bit of your heartstrings," Harloff said.

Lori and Harold suffered some smoke inhalation and were treated and released from the hospital. They'll have to replace everything they've lost, from Lori's antiques to her eyeglasses. She says insurance will help.

Lori was able to save some of her champion dogs and says she'll start to re-build. She has a message for those who see her story.

"Give their kids and animals lots of love. and make sure they have an escape plan if something like this happens." ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP