The SPCA rescues nearly two dozen cats out of a Philadelphia home, after it catches fire this evening.
NBC10's Chris Cato talked to a neighbor who lives on the 800 block of Medway Road in Bustleton, and was the first to spot the flames.
"I ran back there and looked out and there was flames coming out of the kitchen," said Denise Mueller.
After firefighters put out the flames, they noticed all the cats inside the home and alerted the SPCA.
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Two cats died in the fire. SPCA workers rescued 21 cats in total.
Police call this a "hoarding situation" and they say it's not just because of the number of cats, but because of the condition inside the home.
The homeowners were not inside at the time of the fire. Neighbors tell NBC10's Cato that they knew there were a lot of animals inside, because of the smell.
"You could just smell it. When you have that much stuff in your house you can just smell it coming through the walls. It was disgusting," said Alison Mort, neighbor.
Mort says she called the city's Licenses and Inspections several times to notify them of the strong odor coming from the house. Two years ago, the city made the homeowners clean out the home, according to Mort, but it was short-lived.
"It was fine for a little bit and then last summer it started again," said Mort.
NBC10's Cato tried to talk to the homeowners when they returned to their neighborhood tonight, but they declined.