Fire at animal foster home kills 3 dogs

A 43-year-old San Francisco woman didn't just lose her home in a noontime fire today, she lost most of her foster family too.

Pali Boucher, founder of Rocket Dog Rescue, a foster organization for homeless animals, got a call from a neighbor around noon that her house at 756 Ellsworth St. was spewing smoke.

A flustered Boucher rushed home to discover she had lost five of the animals she was personally fostering: three dogs, one parrot and one pigeon.

She could barely find the words to say, “We save a lot of animals from homelessness but we just couldn't save them today. Everything was destroyed.'' San Francisco fire Lt. Mindy Talmadge said a police officer on the

freeway reported smoke just before noon around 1000 Alemany Boulevard.

The Fire Department got to the fire at 12:14 p.m. and smothered it within eight minutes, Talmadge said.

“It took a little bit to find the actual fire, but once they were on location they had it under control,'' she said.

She didn't know the actual cause of the fire, although Boucher suspected it was electrical. The dollar damages are unknown.

Boucher said she lived upstairs in the home 13 years, the only part affected by the fire.

Two of her dogs, Muddy Waters and Ellsworth, are being cared for at veterinary hospital.

“I have plenty of people helping me with a place to stay, but they'll (the dogs) need a place to stay when they get out,'' Boucher said.

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