Pets and staff escape harm at Animal Refuge League fire

A fire at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland destroyed the operation’s linens and most of its dog toys, but no animals or staff members were injured in the incident, according to a post on the league Facebook page.

See full coverage of the fire by our media partners at WCSH 6 here.

According to an organization post Wednesday, the fire started in a dryer in the Westbrook facility’s laundry room around 8 a.m.

“The staff quickly shut our fire doors and evacuated the building,” the post read, in part. “Immediately the Westbrook Fire Department and police were at the scene, getting the fire under control. As soon as possible they allowed us to evacuate the animals near the laundry.”

The organization said its animals will not need to be held off-site, as their living areas were not damaged in the fire.

Nobody answered the league phone number when called by the BDN Wednesday afternoon. In its online post, the league stated that due to an influx of calls from people offering to help, it would be only communicating through Facebook.

“We need new bedding, which we can accept starting tomorrow. Today we are just cleaning and trying to get back to normal,” the group said.

It also needs donations of towels, sheets, pillowcases, blankets, comforters and washable dog and cat beds, but no pillows.

The Animal Refuge League was founded in Portland in 1911, and takes in more than 4,000 stray, abandoned and owner-surrendered animals each year, including dogs, cats, rabbits and birds.

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Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.