Family hopes cats survive fire injuries

Posted at 10:49 PM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 23:22:30-05

A family is trying to rebuild the home they lost in a fire and hoping two of their cats that are at a vet hospital will survive their injuries.

The fire erupted Tuesday afternoon. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue saved several pets, including cats and dogs. The couple was not home at the time of the fire. Four cats did not survive.

"I think the hardest part is knowing…I'm sorry…it's just knowing my babies, which (are) my cats….what they had to go through (and) what they suffered and I wish (I was) there to protect them, to help them," Sally Buchanan said.

Buchanan's 11-year-old grandson, Payton Whitehead, saw the smoke because he lives next door. He called 911.

"I was thinking about the house and my heart dropped. Then I said, 'Oh crap...the animals,'" Whitehead said.

According to firefighters, they believe the fire was an accident that started at an electrical box.

"I wish I (would have been) here, honestly. I think I would've been able to save a lot of this," Buchanan said.

Buchanan said her family is helping her and her husband through this. She said she does not know how they will afford to pay to rebuild their home and vet bills. 


The two cats that are hospitalized, Lexi and Andy, have been at the Vetcare Harris Animal Hospital since Tuesday. Buchanan visits her pets as much as she can and plans to continue to do that. Their faces were severely burned and they have some internal injuries.

"I can't live with the idea of (losing) my four-legged babies," Buchanan said.

Buchanan's family set up a Go Fund Me page:


If you would like to help Lexi and Andy Buchanan directly, you can call Vetcare Harris Animal Hospital directly.