Sixteen cats died in a house fire today in Indio.
The blaze, reported at 12:25 a.m. in the 83000 block of Dillon Avenue, was knocked down in 17 minutes by two dozen firefighters, said Tawny Castro of the Riverside County Fire Department.
One cat survived the blaze, which caused an estimated $50,000 in damage, Castro said.
According to Riverside County Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh, the homeowner had been away from home due to a health issue, staying with a relative in Palm Springs.
Welsh said the homeowner was well over the city of Indio’s legal limit of nine cats allowed.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.