MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — An animal shelter in Montclair, New Jersey had to find emergency housing for its residents Sunday after a fire swept through the building.

The fire broke out Sunday at the Montclair Township Animal Shelter, at 77 N. Willow St. in Montclair. The shelter said all the animals were safe following the fire.

Montclair Animal Shelter volunteer Erin Brennan described the chaotic scene. Her brother was the first to spot the flames and started alerting everyone.

“There’s a fire, fire get the animals out and they called 911 and he got started pulling animals out of the building,” she told CBS2’s Brian Conybeare.

Thankfully volunteers were already at the shelter to walk the dogs and care for the cats. There was major damage to the building as flames were even intense enough to spread to one shelter worker’s car parked behind the building.

“It could’ve been deadly. If it was in the middle of the night all the animals would’ve died,” shelter worker Darcy Del Castillo said.

Instead, about 70 cats and dogs were saved by shelter workers and neighbors who rushed to help.

By late Sunday afternoon, the shelter said it had foster commitments for all its animals.

“Our hearts are full and we can’t thank you all enough for responding so quickly!” the shelter said on a Facebook posting.


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