Penninger Fire threatens elderly and pets

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CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The fire made its way toward many businesses putting the Pilot Gas Station, Sonic and even Costco at risk. However, it was a pair of senior living facilities and an animal hospital that had to move their sensitive population out.

With the Penninger Fire bearing down on them they had to evacuate quickly gathering up elderly members. And at the pet hospital, they evacuated 10 pets in their care. The fire made it’s way right to their back doors.

The businesses – Vista View Mood and Memory Care on Hamrick and Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center on Biddle – are within the 2-mile evacuation zone around the Expo; both are saying it was a close call.

“It was close. It was probably within 10 or 15 feet of the backdoor,” said Diana Schropp, Critical Care Specialist at Southern Oregon Veterinary Specialty Center. “That was another reason why I think I decided not to bring the staff back last night because I didn’t want to put any of us through that again.”

At the retirement home, 14 residents were brought to Providence Medical Center. The pet hospital evacuated 10 pets to Phoenix Animal Hospital, some of which were in critical condition.

All the animals and residents are safe. The businesses are now thanking firefighters for their service and are just relieved everything turned out okay.

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