MCKINLEY PARK — Four people plus a family dog escaped a residential fire Wednesday, but a kitten wasn't so lucky.
The blaze began sometime around 11:10 a.m. at a residence in the 1800 block of West Pershing Road. One person was taken to St. Anthony Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, fire officials said.
The three-bedroom apartment that caught fire is situated above a Western Union shop, which neighbors said was closed when the fire broke out.
"We smelled the smoke first, then saw flames. It was like a black cloud of soot came charging in," said tenant Olga Mercado, adding that the damage was a total loss.
"My whole life was in boxes up there," said Mercado, 47, an accountant who just moved into the apartment last month with her three adult children. "Whatever didn't get messed up in the fire it's messed up with all the water."
Mercado's daughter Dolores Hernandez, 24, carried out her Pomeranian Chihuahua named Xuxa. A kitten named Lana didn't survive.
The cause of the fire is not known.