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Man injured, cats killed in house fire

May 13, 2009 11:50:58 AM PDT
A 61-year-old man was injured and his cats were killed early Wednesday in a fire at a North Hills home. Fire crews responded to the 9500 block of North Gerald Avenue at about 1:35 a.m.

Authorities said the home had pack rat conditions, and firefighters said it was difficult reaching the fire because piles of the man's belongings blocked doorways into the house.

The man was injured because he was trapped in the home by his own belongings. He was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

After the fire, firefighters pulled boxes of books, magazines and other items from the garage.

Neighbors said they've complained about conditions at the home for years, and feared something like this could happen.

Officials said the man also appeared to collect wild cats. They found up to 100 cans of opened cat food scattered in one bedroom.

An electrical problem in the garage is suspected of sparking the fire, which then spread to the home.

City News Service contributed to this story.

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