10 Years Later: Jacksonville Humane Society Fire

10 years later: Jacksonville Humane Society fire

JACKSONVILLE, FL - The kennels still carry the burn marks of a night that changed the Jacksonville Humane Society.

"It was apparent when I pulled up that a lot of animals had lost their lives," tells Ann Korczyk the associate executive of JHS.
 
The chaotic scene is burned into the memory of staff and first responders, it was a blazing fire with animals trapped inside.
 
"My heart was beating out of my chest," she says, "when we got here, it was a lot of chaos and pandemonium."
 
Firefighters racing to let animals out of their cages, dogs injured and being treated by responders, the building beginning to collapse.  In all, 86 animals died that night, 19 were dogs, the rest were cats the firefighters couldn't get to. 
 
"They ruled it 'undetermined', they think it was electrical, but they couldn't determine that for sure," says Korczyk.
 
In the years that followed, JHS remained open, but animals were kept in modular units that had no air conditioning or heat.  Now in the shadow of the burned building, a new shelter is going up with an extensive fire suppression system.
 
"We will have sprinklers and special panels. The building will be made out of steel and brick," she explains.
 
A decade later, the animals that didn't make it are still buried on the grounds at JHS. Staff is ready to move forward, but never forget the past.
 
"We will never let this happen again," says Korczyk with determination.
 
To donate toward the new shelter or specifically the fire-suppression system which costs $100,000 visit here: http://www.jaxhumane.org/about-us/building-updates/

© 2017 WTLV-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment