UPDATE: Vet plans to re-open after 2 animals die in fire - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Vet plans to re-open after 2 animals die in fire

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A photo of Animal Haven after the fire A photo of Animal Haven after the fire
HILLS (KWWL) - Two rescue animals died following a fire at a veterinary hospital in Hills early Tuesday morning.

The Hills Fire Department was called to a fire at Animal Haven Veterinary Hospital just before 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Mark Dennis opened Animal Haven 15 years ago. Early Tuesday morning he got a call saying his building was on fire.

"Disbelief, yup, and also, of course, thinking of the two animals that were here overnight," said Dennis, a veterinarian.

Those animals, a cat and a dog, were both rescues that Dennis hoped to have put up for adoption soon.

"That was my first thing, was how many animals do we have inside there and their location," said Jason Vannevel, Hills Fire Chief. 

Firefighters were not able to save the animals.

The Hills Fire Department responds to calls all over Johnson County. This was different.

"It hit close to home," said Vannevel.

The veterinarian spent much of Tuesday meeting with insurance representatives to discuss the damage.

"All indications are that it will be a total loss," said Dennis.

He wants to re-open, possibly re-building at the same spot or moving somewhere else in town.

"It's been a very successful place as far as the practice is concerned, and the community of Hills certainly wants us to stay," said Dennis.

People in town have even offered locations for the vet to work out of temporarily. He hopes to have at least part of his practice running in a week or two.

The official cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Dennis believes that a piece of equipment inside may have malfunctioned, causing the fire.

No people were hurt.

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