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18 cats, 2 birds killed in Connecticut house fire

Eighteen cats and two birds were killed during a Connecticut house fire, but firefighters were able to save eight other pets. 

The blaze broke out just after 1:30 a.m. in the town of Berlin, and the female homeowner, Katherine O'Leary, was able to escape without being injured.

Matt Odishoo, the deputy fire marshal of Berlin, said the fire department brought most of the surviving animals out and revived them, before turning them over to animal control.

The surviving animals include seven cats and one sheep dog named Quigley. They are in the custody of Berlin Animal Control.

"They look healthy. They're traumatized, obviously, but they look healthy. They're good weights," Jan Lund, the animal control officer for Berlin, said.

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One cat is missing.

O'Leary is expected to check on her animals on Thursday.

Animal control plans to go over the pet records and make sure the pets are neutered in good health before returning them to O'Leary.

No local ordinance in Berlin limits the number of pets a resident can have, Lund said, and neighbors have not issued any complaints with animal control.

Officials believe that the fire appears to have started in mudroom. It caused extensive fire and water damage, fire officials said.

The cause is under investigation.