SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — A Springfield family is left devastated after an early-morning garage fire kills twelve of their pet birds.
It happened just after 3:30 Friday morning.
“He was in the garage with the birds and he’s the only one who got out,” says Angel Reyes.
Reyes stands outside his aunt’s Prospect Street home while holding the fire’s lone survivor, their pet Shih Tzu, who was rescued from the garage.
Luck, however, wasn’t on the side of this family’s beloved pet birds that were trapped inside when a malfunctioning wood stove caused it to go up in flames.
“Celtic birds, macaws, parrots, African grays, amazon, different kinds. Smart birds, they spoke. They were speaking a lot,” adds the homeowner’s brother, George Figueroa.
Reyes describes his disbelief about getting the call at work Friday morning that his aunt’s garage was on fire.
“I was in shock and my brother wouldn’t lie to me about something like that so I said, ‘Okay I’ll go check it out’,” Reyes says.
What is left is the aftermath. The bird cages, where the birds were kept, have been removed from the blackened interior of the garage.
“My aunt started liking birds and started buying a lot of birds just to have them.”
Family members showed ABC40 pictures of their beloved birds on their phones, including two doves and a mixture of ten other exotic breeds.
Some of which cost upwards of $1,500 dollars each and can live to be 65 years old.
Figueroa adds, “For now just think about the future. Whether to buy more birds or maybe not. For now, we just feel very sad,”
Investigators say the fire caused $20,000 dollars in damages.
Family members say they took their dog to the vet today for a check-up to make sure he was okay after inhaling so much smoke.