Birds, animals perish in house fire

Monday, August 20, 2007

FARMINGTON, Mo. -- Muffled cries from inside a house fire in eastern Missouri apparently were coming from a talking parrot.

The state fire marshal's office is investigating a Friday house fire that killed 70 to 100 birds, four dogs and at least two cats.

There were no residents inside, and no human injuries reported at the Friday morning blaze outside of Farmington, which is about 70 miles south of St. Louis.

When firefighters from the Wolf Creek and Farmington fire departments arrived, the single-family home was already engulfed and too hot for them to enter.

Neighbors initially thought an elderly woman lived there alone, but officials learned she had apparently moved and a couple had been raising birds at the house. The couple was not home at the time of the fire.

However, there was a talking parrot on site, whom Farmington fire chief Phil Johnson said he heard calling. Phone messages left for both departments Sunday were not immediately returned.

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