From Harford County government:
The Harford County Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits (DILP), Division of Animal Control and Division of Housing Services are investigating a possible case of animal hoarding at a Forest Hill residence. County officials were notified of a number of deceased animals at a home following a fire incident Monday evening.
Monday, August 27, 2012 shortly after 11:00 p.m. fire fighters from the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company was summoned to the home of Donald and Nancy Kirk, at 2447 Rocks Road. Following fire suppression efforts, fire fighters discovered a number of deceased cats and other animals in the home. Subsequently fire officials requested the assistance of DILP and Animal Control in removing the deceased animals from the property.
Animal Control officers, working in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources have removed more than 30 dead animals and reptiles from the one-story modular home. Among the deceased animals was a fox which was found in a refrigerator.
Additionally, at least a dozen cats that died as a result of the fire were buried on the property early Tuesday, August 28, prior to the arrival of county officials.
Officials removed six cats, two dogs, nine raccoons and three turtles which were found alive on the property. The animals were transported to the Harford County Humane Society for a check-up and safekeeping. The raccoons will be euthanized. The animals were found between the modular home and a nearby mobile home which had been converted into a storage building.
Also assisting in the investigation of the alleged case of animal hoarding is the Harford County Health Department.
No charges have been filed at this time against the property owners. The investigation of the incident is continuing.
From the Office of the State Fire Marshal:
At about 11:15 p.m. Monday, a Forest Hill man was was able to safely exit his burning home after being alerted by his cats to a fire in the kitchen.
The one-story single family rancher style home in the 2400 block of Rocks Road in Forest Hill, owned by Donald and Nancy Kirk, was significantly damaged in the blaze, which also killed approximately 40 cats and a dog.
Thirty firefighters from Bel Air and Jarrettsville responded and had the fire under control within 10 minutes. The homeowner sustained minor smoke inhalation, but refused transportation to a hospital. A firefighter from Jarrettsville sustained a sprained ankle and was transported to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center for treatment.
The Office of the Maryland State Fire Marshal also estimated the fire caused $10,000 to the home and $5,000 to its contents.
A smoke alarm was not present in the home.
From Kathleen Woods, Phoenix Wildlife Center:
This is a very unfortunate situation. It needs to be made clear that this individual is not a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. The numbers, ages, and conditions of the animals on the premises indicate that rehabilitation standards of care were not being followed. When taking a wild animal to someone for care the public has the right to request to see their applicable permit. Separate permits are required for each: birds, rabies vector species, and other native wildlife.
Phoenix Wildlife Center