By Lindsey Mastis, WUSA9.com:
Dozens of cats and the family’s birds perished in a house fire in Fairfax County, Virginia on Saturday afternoon. Mark Emlet and Kristen Tunstall foster many of the cats for Fancy Cats Rescue Team.
Emlet says there were 64 cats in the home located in the Centreville area. The couple left Saturday morning on vacation. At about 3:00 PM, a pet sitter arrived and found the first floor full of smoke. She called 911, and firefighters arrived a few minutes later.
Dan Schmidt, Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department spokesman, says the fire extinguished on its own. According to Schmidt eight cats survived the fire. Others are still unaccounted for. Fairfax County Animal Control removed the dead cats and birds from the home.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.