Wausau Pilot & Review

More than two dozen pets perished Sunday during a fire at a Sparta home, officials said.

According to the Sparta Area Fire District, crews responded just before 3:45 p.m. to a home on County Hwy. I when a passerby reported heavy smoke pouring from the home.

Fire officials say smoke inhalation caused the death of 14 dogs, 12 puppies and two cats. Residents were not at home when the blaze broke out. Several dogs being housed in outdoor kennels survived the blaze.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.