Homeowners displaced, 3 cats killed after fire near downtown Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - "I woke up ... took a shower, came around the corner and there was smoke coming from the front of the house."

Kathleen O'Sullivan-Malady said her first thought Sunday morning was her husband had burnt food on the stove -- until he, too, walked in wondering what the smoke was from.

"He ran to the front of the house and said, 'Kathleen, get out now. The house is burning,'" she said.

Firefighters responded to the couple's home near the corner of Cascade Avenue and Fountain Boulevard shortly before 8 a.m.

"First arriving crews did find the front of a house ... involved in fire," said Lt. Bryan Lynch with the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

"They were here within two minutes. It was amazing," O'Sullivan-Malady told 11 News.

Lynch said firefighters received reports of people trapped inside, but a check of the home determined everyone was out.

"They had evacuated prior to our arrival. They had self-evacuated," Lynch said.

The couple was unable to get their four cats out of the home. Firefighters later confirmed three of the cats died.

"The three cats died of smoke inhalation," O'Sullivan-Malady told 11 News.

She was hopeful the fourth cat may have survived.

"The neighbor says one got out, so I'm hoping," she told 11 News.

The fire heavily damaged the front two rooms, but firefighters were able to stop it from spreading further.

"Pretty straight forward. Pretty bread and butter for us. Fire on the front of the building and inside the building, so we put it out and searched the building. Made sure the fire went out and all the people got out," Lynch said of the morning fire.

The Red Cross is finding a place for O'Sullivan-Malady and her husband to stay for a few nights.

"We're a pretty close-knit neighborhood. Everything will be OK," O'Sullivan-Malady told 11 News.