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No animals hurt after fire destroys building at Southside Animal Shelter

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — No animals were hurt after a fire broke out at an Indianapolis animal shelter Monday morning, firefighters said.

Just after 1:20 a.m., crews from the Indianapolis Fire Department responded to a fire in a barn at Southside Animal Shelter, located at 1614 W. Edgewood Ave. That’s a commercial/industrial area between Harding Street and State Road 37 just south of I-465.

“Firefighters arrived to find the barn fully involved. They brought the blaze under control in 25 minutes,” IFD tweeted.

Southside Animal Shelter has worked to find forever homes for at-risk cats and dogs for nearly 30 years. Rosie Ellis, the shelter’s founder and executive director, says the building — which was used for storing supplies, doing laundry, and washing dishes — is a total loss.

“This is where our laundry was done, dishes, and nearly all of our supplies were stored,” Ellis wrote on Facebook. “This is also the building where our feral cats have access to heat and shelter. Those cats are still not accounted for, but it’s dark and it’s been an eventful night; I’m hopeful we will locate everyone over the next few days.”

Ellis says she’s “not certain yet” how the community can help but promised an update once she has a better idea of what the facility needs.

“We are grateful for IFD, words will certainly fail us here. They contained the fire and stopped us from losing the other buildings and dozens of animals,” Ellis said.

No firefighters or shelter staff were hurt.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.