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Jan 11, 5:01 PM EST

Officials: 45 cats, 5 dogs, parrot die in Florida house fire

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. (AP) -- Authorities say 45 cats, five dogs, a parrot and a raccoon are dead after a central Florida house fire.

Florida Today ( reports that rescue workers responded early Wednesday morning to the Merritt Island home.

Brevard County Sheriff's Office officials say a couple living at the house managed to escape without injury. One cat and 13 dogs were rescued and taken to a nearby animal shelter for a routine quarantine.

The cause of the blaze wasn't immediately reported. Fire officials say efforts to stop the fire were hampered by some windows that were boarded up and the distressed pets inside attempting to get out.

Deputies say they're reviewing the fire as part of an animal cruelty investigation. Sheriff's spokesman David Jacobs called the conditions in the home "nothing less than deplorable."


Information from: Florida Today (Melbourne, Fla.),

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