NJ eviction explosion: Woman dead but some cats may have survived
🐈 The cats who lived at the house on Cedar Court have not been seen dead or alive
🐈 Western Monmouth Animal Control believes survivors will return
🐈 The Monmouth County SPCA will examine any cats that are found
ROOSEVELT — The cats that lived inside a house where a woman killed herself in an explosion on Wednesday may still be alive.
The woman, who was not identified by State Police, followed through on her threat to set blow up her house on Cedar Court when troopers served her with an eviction order. Neighbors who gathered at the scene speculated her many cats were still inside when the fire was set.
Sharon Gaboff, of Western Monmouth Animal Control, told New Jersey 101.5 on Friday that a window had been left open before the explosion, which gave the cats a chance to escape as the flames spread. She said no cats have been found — dead or alive.
"We searched everywhere. We looked in what we can of the remains of the house. So far, nothing's come up. My fingers are crossed. I just think that that was so traumatizing to them and then the aftermath of all those people there," Gaboff said, adding that the house is surrounded by deep woods.
"It's going to take them a couple of days to become nice and hungry and start coming back to the place that they are familiar with, where they were fed. A lot went on there, a lot of noise there, a lot of people around," Gaboff said.
Hungry cats will seek food
Gaboff believes that with the commotion gone and hunger setting in, the cats will be more comfortable returning.
It's hard to say how many cats lived there as Roosevelt does not issue licenses for cats, according to Gaboff. Neighbors speculated she had anywhere from 30 to 50 cats.
"I do know that she took care of her colony over there for many, many years, so they were dying off because they were getting older," Gaboff said. "I'm going to say in the neighborhood of maybe 10-15 cats."
Cats come and go
It was far from a hoarding situation as the cats lived outdoors and had a separate large shed-like building where they could eat and sleep, Gaboff said. No cats were found in the building after the fire.
Gaboff said if anyone sees a cat, notify the borough immediately at 609-448-0539. One of her staff will pick the cat up and bring it to the Monmouth County SPCA to be checked over and eventually put up for adoption..
State Police, which provides police service to Roosevelt and is leading the investigation into the fire, did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for more information about the investigation on Friday afternoon.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at email@example.com
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