After a fire ripped through a SouthCoast home last weekend, killing 34 cats, the responding local fire department is now in dire need of pet rescue equipment.

The New Bedford Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 303 County Street on Sunday morning, finding heavy fire on the first floor of the home that left three people trapped in the two upper levels.

Firefighters were able to rescue the three occupants, all in their 50s, from the fire. The man was transported to Rhode Island Hospital and the two women were taken to St. Luke's, and the NBFD now reports that all three individuals are recovering and doing well.

New Bedford firefighters removed 60 cats from the fire as well, 34 that had died in the blaze and 26 that first responders treated at the scene. The fire department reported that Animal Control Officer Manny Maciel said it was the "largest amount of pets treated and transported from a structure fire."

In the process of resuscitating the 26 surviving cats, New Bedford EMS and the New Bedford Fire Department exhausted their inventory of pet rescue equipment that is necessary to save animals in emergency circumstances.

Here's how you can help: The Coalition for Animals had donated the previous supply of equipment, so it is now accepting donations to replace the EMS and fire department teams' supplies. Checks or money order donations can be mailed to the Coalition for Animals at 834 Kempton Street, New Bedford, MA 02740.

After investigation, the fire department found the cause of the Country Street fire to be accidental.

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