Montclair Animal Shelter: Fire Under Investigation; Fundraising and Adoption Event Planned

Photo courtesy of the Montclair Fire Department.
Photo courtesy of the Montclair Fire Department.

The Montclair Fire Department (MFD) responded to a report of a fire at the Montclair Township Animal Shelter at approximately 12 pm Sunday afternoon. MFD units arrived to find a large volume of fire consuming the rear of the building. The fire engulfed the roof of the addition at the back portion of the structure as well as a nearby vehicle.

Photo: Daniel Hamilton
Photo: Daniel Hamilton

A second alarm was called in order to bring additional units to the scene. Three Montclair engines and two trucks responded to fight the fire as well as units from Irvington, South Orange, West Orange, and Orange.

Photo: Daniel Hamilton
Photo: Daniel Hamilton

The building sustained heavy fire damage to the kennel area, extensive heat and smoke damage to the outside rear of the structure, moderate smoke and water damage to the interior, windows in the rear were removed for ventilation, and a nearby vehicle was destroyed as well.

Outpouring of volunteers to foster cats near Trumpets. Photo: Wheeler Antabanez
Outpouring of volunteers to foster cats near Trumpets. Photo: Wheeler Antabanez
Photo: Wheeler Antabanez
Photo: Wheeler Antabanez

All of the animals inside the Shelter were evacuated and survived. No injuries were reported to fire personnel. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. Fire units cleared the scene at 6:29pm.

The Montclair Police Department will take all calls concerning animal control issues until further notice. The Township is working with Clifton Animal Control to handle strays, injured animals and other situations requiring animal control assistance.

Photo: Daniel Hamilton
Photo: Daniel Hamilton

Late last night, MTAS posted the following message of gratitude on its Facebook page:

Tonight our hearts are full. We are grateful for so much – the staff and volunteers who risked their lives to remove every single animal from a burning building, who set up triage for the vetting of animals with smoke inhalation and ensured the safety of our animals during evacuation, the surrounding shelters and rescue groups who offered to take our pets, the township officials who dropped everything to come and help, the surrounding neighbors who opened their businesses and homes to us, and most importantly, the Montclair Fire Headquarters who responded immediately saving a portion of the building and for Drs Houston and Cameron Cameron Animal Hospital who are heroes every single day but today, earned their halos. Special thanks also go to our supporters Mike’s Feed Farm and Montclair Feed & Pet Supply who rushed to donate supplies, to Montclair Ambulance Unit who is letting us use their bay for storage and finally, to the amazing public who responded to our emergency plea for fosters.

You have all done so much, but we’re asking for just a bit more. We will need financial support to rebuild. Will you help? All donations are tax deductible.

A fundraiser has been set up with a goal of $225,000 to go toward the repair of the building and a redesign to ensure the well-being and safety of the animals. .The Friends of the Montclair Township Animal Shelter (FOMTAS) was already planning a remodel due to the age and condition of the building but now plans need to be expedited. Monetary donations can be made online here. The Montclair Ambulance Unit (95 Walnut Street) is also accepting and storing supply donations for MTAS.

According to Katya Wowk, Montclair Communications Director, the Township will submit a claim to its joint insurance fund (Garden State Municipal Joint Insurance Fund).

Niki Dawson, MTAS Shelter Director, tells Baristanet that the planned “Our Pound in Town” Block Party scheduled for Sunday, April 10, will still go on and it will now include an adoption event to place as many animals from the shelter as possible.
 
 

Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.