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COLONIAL VALLEY, Ore. — More than a dozen cats are dead after a small outbuilding caught fire in rural Josephine County on Monday morning, according to Rural Metro Fire.
Firefighters arrived at the scene just after 8:30 a.m. to find that an "outbuilding converted to a 'cattery'" had been destroyed by fire in the 800 block of Palomino Drive. Flames had engulfed the shed and spread to the surrounding grass, but did not reach the main house nearby.
"Unfortunately, over a dozen cats residing inside the shed did not survive," Rural Metro Fire said.
Investigators determined that the fire started from a portable heater that was being used to heat the small shed, which had "ignited flammable materials."
"Fire officials are urging extreme caution during the cold weather to secure all heating devices used for outdoor pets and livestock," Rural Metro said.
Several safe heating products are reportedly available with a little research, or you contact the Rural Metro Fire Prevention Division if you have questions regarding safe heating methods at 541-474-1218.