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ORLANDO, Fla. – A fire claimed the lives of 23 cats Wednesday night at a pet shelter in Orlando, authorities said.

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According to WFTV, the incident occurred at the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando on Conroy Road. Orange County Fire Rescue crews arrived shortly before 10:30 p.m. to find flames in about half of the 5,000-square-foot facility, the news outlet reported.

Update 1:05 p.m. EDT Sept. 16: Officials told WFTV that the fire likely started at the front of the clinic in an area adjacent to the cat area. The news station reported that 19 cats survived the fire, including a pregnant cat and two others who were rescued Thursday morning.

Original report: Authorities said about 25 dogs and 35 cats were in the shelter when the fire occurred, according to WFTV. As of 12:30 a.m. Thursday, all of the dogs and about 10 cats had been rescued, officials said. An estimated 20 to 30 cats likely died in the blaze, Pet Alliance Executive Director Steve Bardy told the news outlet.

Crews were still battling the fire, which apparently began in the front of the facility near where the cats are kept, early Thursday, WFTV reported.

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