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‘They found my cat!’ Woman overjoyed to learn cat survived Henrico house fire

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- When Danielle Christiansen got the call at work after 10: 30 Thursday morning that her Hughes Road home, in eastern Henrico, was on fire, she had just one thought -- "Get my animals out of my house!"

As Christiansen raced home from work, her father-in-law Charles arrived at the burning house and tried to save the family's pets.

"I got one, but I could not get the others," Charles Christiansen said as he held his daughter-in-law's dog. He said the dog was waiting at the front door for someone to open it. Charles said he tried to rescue the family's other animals, but could not.

"The smoke was so thick, I couldn't see three feet into the house," he said.

Firefighters pulled one cat out of the house and used an oxygen mask to resuscitate the animal. While two birds and two other cats were found dead in the home, one of Danielle Christiansen's cats was still missing when she arrived.

She was speaking with CBS 6 anchor Rob Desir when she saw a firefighter carrying her missing cat.

 "They found my cat... aw... Pawlie... come here baby," Danielle Christiansen said. "It's okay. Mamma's got you."

Henrico Fire investigators have not yet determined what caused Thursday morning's house fire. No one was home when the fire started and no people were hurt, Henrico Fire Lt. RJ Whaley said.

It took firefighters about 10 minutes to get to the home due to its distance from the nearest fire station. It took additional time to put out the fire because firefighters had to transport water to the home because it is not near a fire hydrant.

"The driveway here is over 1,000 feet long," Lt. Whaley said. "That's a long way to lay a hose. We had to pull in special tankers just to get water in here."

The fire was marked under control at 11:23 a.m.

While Christiansen was thankful firefighters found her missing cat, she and her husband must now find a place to live. The Red Cross was called to assist the family.