Jamesport Fire Department volunteers quickly put out house fire on Lockitt Drive that started while the occupants of the home were away Friday night.
“We had gone out and when we got back home, we heard the fire alarms and saw the smoke,” said Dieter Schwarz, who lives at the home with his wife, Laurie, and step-daughter Amanda.
“We called 911 and then we started getting our animals out,” he said.
The animals rescued were a dog, three cats, three birds and four turtles.
Mr. Schwarz said the home was filled with smoke when they opened the doors. They noticed the fire at about 8:45 p.m, he said.
Jamesport fire chief Duffy Griffiths said about 50 volunteer firefighters responded with help from the Mattituck Fire Department, which was on standby at the scene. The Riverhead Fire Department sent a rapid response team of veteran firefighters trained to rescue firefighters who may run into difficulty fighting the flames.
“We knocked it down real quick,” chief Griffiths said.
The Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance also was on the scene, although no one was injured and all of the animals were accounted for.
Mr. Schwarz said they breathed in smoke while looking for the animals but were OK.
The fire started in the back wall of the building, although the cause had yet to be determined, chief Griffiths said.
Mr. Schwarz said it appears to have started near a basement dryer, although he said the dryer wasn’t on while they were away.
Riverhead fire marshal Dave Andruszkiewicz is investigating the fire’s cause.