SANTA MONICA, Calif. – On Wednesday, April 20th, 2022 at 7:47 p.m. an officer patrolling the 1900 block of 20th street observed smoke coming from the back of an apartment complex and quickly called for additional resources and the Fire Department to help evacuate the building as well as to look for anybody inside the unit on fire. It took the first engine to arrive on scene within 3 minutes of the initial dispatch, all other units arrived on scene within 5 minutes of the initial call. Engine 3 which was the first engine on the scene had done a search for any victims and found 4 cats that were inside of the unit, the firefighters quickly extracted them from the unit and tend aid to them with pet oxygen masks, sadly 2 of the cats were unable to be resuscitated, the other 2 cats were transported to a nearby vet for further evaluation before being transferred to the Santa Monica Animal Shelter where their rightful owner(s) could pick them up. The unit was a total loss in the fire and the American Red Cross is helping the occupant(s) in the unit. There were no reported injuries to any firefighters or civilians related to the fire. The cause of the fire has been ruled accidental and most likely something was burning like a candle before the occupant(s) left and one of the cats may have accidentally knocked it down while the occupant(s) were gone.
In a statement released by the Santa Monica Fire Department on Thursday, it stated that
On Wednesday, April 20th, 2022 at 7:47 p.m. Santa Monica Firefighters were dispatched to a reported structure fire on the 1900 block of 20th street in the Pico Neighborhood of Santa Monica. There were initial reports that occupants were possibly still inside. The first Engine Company arrived on scene in 5 minutes and 46 seconds. Crews performed an aggressive fire attack and search of the units. During the search no human victims were located, however 4 cats were rescued from the apartment. Life saving measures were performed on the cats utilizing pet oxygen masks which are carried on all Santa Monica Fire apparatus. Two of the cats were successfully resuscitated unfortunately, the other two cats perished in the fire.
The fire was contained to one apartment unit. Red Cross was requested and assisted the displaced occupant of the fire unit. Additional assistance was provided by the Santa Monica Police Department and McCormick Ambulance. Santa Monica Fire Investigators determined the fire was caused accidentally.
Some of the information provided was incorrect by the department as the first engine responded within 3 minutes as observed by residents in the area as well as myself.