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Fire chars animal clinic
Two pets rescued, others perish
Smoke billows from Sawnee Animal Clinic on as firefighters prepare to battle the blaze. Two animals were rescued in the fire, while two died. - photo by Jim Dean


Two pets were rescued and two others died in a blaze Thursday night that damaged an animal clinic in west Forsyth.

Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said the cause and origin of the fire are under investigation, but authorities do not suspect foul play.

According to Shivers, the department responded about 11 p.m. to the blaze at Sawnee Animal Clinic on Canton Highway.

Firefighters could see flames and smoke when they arrived, he said. The basement, primary level and attic were burning.

Shivers said firefighters were able to remove two of the three dogs that were being boarded at the clinic. After giving them oxygen, they were fine.

A bird and another dog apparently died before emergency responders arrived.

“We saved two,” Shivers said. “That doesn’t take the pain and loss away for the families that lost their pets, and certainly our hearts go out to them.

“For a firefighter, losing any life is difficult because we’re here to help all living creatures. But we did save two and that’s a positive portion of the story.”

Shivers said clinic staff arrived and helped with the dogs that survived.

He said wind and cold temperatures presented a challenge in fighting the fire, but no people were injured.

A Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputy discovered the blaze, Shivers said, while responding to a security alarm call at the building.

The alarm’s motion detector may have been triggered by flames or smoke.

Shivers said there was some structural damage to the building, but it likely will be salvagable.