An early morning fire has destroyed a pet sanctuary in Houlton and claimed the lives of several animals.

Lisa Miles - TSM

The fire at the Ark Animal Sanctuary on the Old Woodstock Road was reported by a Border Patrol Agent at around 3:20 Wednesday morning, according to Houlton Fire Chief Milton Cone.

Lisa Miles -TSM

The building was fully involved when the Houlton Fire Department arrived. Chief Cone said 23 firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze and remained on scene until about 5 a.m.

Lisa Miles - TSM

Tragically, 16 cats perished in the fire. Because the building was completely destroyed, Chief Cone said the exact cause of the fire may never be determined. He said the sanctuary had recently undergone renovations.

Donations Needed for Houlton Animal Sanctuary that Lost Everything to Fire