A Jarrettsville couple were able to escape through the basement after the house in which they resided caught fire early Tuesday morning, but a number of pets living in the home were not as fortunate.
Just before 3 a.m. Tuesday morning, emergency personnel were dispatched to the 3900 block of Norrisville Road in Jarrettsville for a reported dwelling fire in a two-story, single family house.
Two of the occupants of the home, who resided in the basement, discovered the fire on the basement side porch. Both were able to escape by exiting through the basement steps, calling 911, and alerting the other occupants. Three cats perished as a result of the fire.
Forty firefighters from the Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company responded to the single-alarm blaze and had it under control within 30 minutes.
The preliminary cause of the fire was blamed on discarded smoking material.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal estimated the fire caused $250,000 in damage to the structure and another $50,000 to its contents. A smoke alarm was present and operated.