BEAUMONT, Texas (KFDM) -- Approximately 67 animals have died in a fire Tuesday night at the Humane Society of Southeast Texas on Spindletop Drive off Cardinal Drive.
Investigators say it was caused by a dryer.
Capt. Brad Penisson, with the Beaumont Fire Department, says the fire broke out in the laundry room.
A resident in a nearby apartment complex saw flames coming from the building and called 911.
BFD arrived on scene around 8:40 p.m. They made entrance into the building and were confronted with heavy smoke and flames. Captain Brad Penisson says about 40 animals died of smoke inhalation.
At any given time, about 200 cats and dogs are housed at the shelter.
A volunteer told KFDM many of the big dogs not make it.
Lots of tears and hugs from the employees and volunteers as they realized how many animals didn't make it out.
Penisson who says even if the dryer was not running if towels are left inside, it could ignite.
Charlotte Zoch has volunteered for more than a decade. She says this is devastating.
They are asking for donations: blankets, Purina dog and cat food, cat litter. They are asking for prayers, money and foster families.
If you're interested in fostering, go to their website and fill out the form.
Donations can be dropped off at the Steinhagan Building at 385 I-10.