ALLENTOWN, Pa. — A Pennsylvania town’s fire department is praising an ex-councilwoman whose donation helped save the lives of 19 cats in a house fire.

The Allentown Fire Department tells The Morning Call former councilwoman Gail Hoover’s gift of $4,000 enabled it to buy pet-friendly oxygen masks and collapsible animal crates.

Chief Lee Laubach says the contribution was invaluable when a fire struck a home filled with about 50 cats and several dogs last weekend. Nineteen cats survived. It’s unclear how many dogs survived.

The chief says firefighters are struggling with what they encountered in the home, where the animals were crying for help. The cats’ owners were away.

Firefighters and officials held a press conference Friday to thank Hoover.

Hoover holds a birthday bash every March and instead of gifts collects donations for her favorite causes.


Information from: The Morning Call, http://www.mcall.com