Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Rochester firefighters were kept busy rounding up cats after they were called to a home in southwest Rochester on New Year’s Eve.

Rochester Fire Department Acting Battalion Chief Craig Connelly says a woman called 911 around 10:15pm and reported that smoke was filling up her house at 1705 3rd avenue southwest. The homeowner reported she did not see any flames and wished to go back inside to rescue her pets, but was told by a dispatcher to immediately evacuate the home.

The responding firefighters found the woman standing outside the house and light smoke coming out of the residence. She told the fire department personnel she had rescued her dog, but there were as many as 18 cats inside the house.

A fire was found burning in a wall between the home and an added sun room, and it was quickly extinguished before causing any major damage. The firefighters then went to work removing the 18 cats from the smoky interior of the house.

No injuries were reported. The damage from the actual fire was described as minor, but the loss was still estimated at about $15,000.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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