Pet boarding facility making changes in wake of accidental fire

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- A local animal boarding facility is making some updates following a fire.

On Tuesday, the Charlottesville Fire Department released its report on the fire, saying it was accidental and likely caused by an electrical malfunction within a branch circuit.

Pet Paradise says it appears the blaze started in an electrical box.

The kennel says it is still rebuilding the boarding potions of its facility, and it is evaluating safety standards to go "above any existing code requirements."

Pet Paradise says it is talking with fire prevention professionals to look at ways to learn from what happened on Aug. 18.

It will be making fire prevention enhancements to the facility and aims to set a new industry standard for pet safety in such facilities.

One change is the addition of an overnight shift once the boarding portion reopens.

Pet Paradise says it will also be installing a fire sprinkler system.

When the fire occurred, local first responders, kennel staff and community members worked to evacuate 78 animals from the facility.

Two dogs died in connection with the fire. One was euthanized due to its condition and a pre-existing heart issue. The second had escaped during the evacuation and was found dead a couple of days after the fire.

All of the other animals were successfully evacuated or found, examined by local veterinarians, and returned to their families.

Pet Paradise says it has donated pet oxygen masks to the Charlottesville area fire and rescue departments to make sure they have the most up-to-date equipment for use in any future emergency situations involving animals.

It has also made $5,000 in donations to pet and first responder-related organizations to express gratitude for all such groups do for the community.

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