Street Cats Rescue is asking for donations after a devastating fire Friday forced it out of its Shanty Bay Road shelter.
“It was nothing short of terrifying,” the organization stated a Facebook post Saturday morning. “Thankfully all the cats were saved, some have already seen vets, some are currently residing at vet clinics.
“They appear fine at this time but will be monitored over the coming weeks. We have no idea if or when we can return to the shelter.”
In an earlier Facebook post, Street Cats Rescue said it has had to completely vacate the building because of too much water, smoke and structural damage from the fire.
“We don’t know at this point if or when we will be able to return. We are completely devastated,” the post reads. “But we are finding comfort in knowing all the cats got out and are safe.”
Four people suffered smoke inhalation removing cats from the fire at 304 Shanty Bay Rd. Oro-Medonte Township firefighters were called to a blaze near Colborne Street at 11:20 a.m.
Fire officials determined a garbage truck on fire had been close to Street Cats Rescue, which had about 40 cats inside.
Additional township fire stations were called for assistance and crews were able to get the fire under control fairly quickly. Mutual aid assistance was requested from Barrie Fire and Emergency Service, and a crew responded to help.
The fire’s cause is undetermined. The Office of the Fire Marshal was contacted and is not investigating.
The four people who rescued the cats Friday were taken to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre as a precaution. All of the animals removed from the building by firefighters were put in the care of shelter staff.
The garbage truck is a write-off, fire officials said, and the building suffered damage estimated at $80,000 to $100,000.
There are three other businesses in the building at the corner of Shanty Bay Road and Colborne Street — Shanty Bay Automotive, A Cut Above Joinery, and Pompous Fox Wood Company.