HOUSTON - The popular Gulf Coast Animal Emergency Hospital had an emergency of its own after smoke filled parts of the building late Thursday morning.
Dozens of animals and staff were evacuated to the roof when smoke began coming up from the basement. It was "organized chaos" as a skilled team of nurses and vets got all of the pets out in five to seven minutes.
"I saw through the doors everyone started going crazy, running and grabbing things," said one pet owner.
Some of the dogs and cats were sedated and in surgery at the time but they had to be evacuated too.
"It's kind of surreal. When they said to evacuate I didn't think that much was going on, but when we came out and saw the smoke up through the trees, that's when I realized something was going on," said Linda Freedman, a pet owner.
Doctors continued treating the most serious patients in the parking lot.
"Some of the other dogs were pretty scared," Freedman said. "One of them crashed out here. He was pretty sick, but he's fine now too."
The fire at the hospital, located on the West Loop near Post Oak, was traced to one of its dryers in the basement. There was no serious damage.
Views from Air 11 showed the situation was under control by noon and the animals and workers were allowed back in. They were able to reopen the hospital and even resume surgeries Thursday afternoon.