Firefighters were able to save three animals Wednesday afternoon after a fire started in the 1400 block of South J Street in Sleeth Addition, in Arkansas City.

Ark City, Winfield and Udall fire crews were called to the structure fire at 12:59 p.m. Ark City officers arrived first and advised a large amount of smoke coming from the roof. The reporting parties told emergency services that there were animals possibly in the house.

Ark City firefighters had to break in the front door to get inside. When Winfield units arrived, they began by cutting a vent in the attic with a chainsaw to see inside. No fire was seen on the outside of the house, only billowing smoke from the attic vents and doorways.

Firefighters located two animals alive inside and brought them out to be reunited with their owner. A third cat fled, a neighbor said.

A neighbor said she grew up next door and it used to be a two-story house, but was remodeled several years ago and was cut down to one story.

Evergy and Kansas Gas services were on scene to assist with utilities.

After a preliminary report taken by the fire department, they think the fire started in the kitchen area with an undetermined cause as of Wednesday afternoon, ACFD Captain Chet Ranzau said. There was fire damage in the kitchen with heat and smoke damage throughout the rest of the house. Ranzau estimated around $70-80,000 in damage done to the house. Most of the house will have to be stripped and redone.

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