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5 pets escape blaze at Wake Forest home

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WAKE FOREST — Three dogs and two cats made it out of a burning Wake Forest home unharmed Tuesday afternoon, although the house was heavily damaged in the blaze.

Firefighters responded to the 7400 block of Oriole Drive, off Purnell Road about two miles west of the Wake Forest town limits, around 2:45 p.m., according to Fire Chief Ron Early of the Wake Forest Fire Department.

No one was home and a neighbor called 911 to report the fire.

"By that time, fire was already coming out of the attic," Early said. "When we came on scene the attic was fully involved."

The two-story home has a taxable value of $446,000, county property records show. Early said the attic was completely destroyed, along with about 70 percent of the second floor. The first floor and basement had severe water damage.

Two hours after arriving on the scene, firefighters were still working to control some flames, Early said. The county fire marshal's office is investigating the cause.

No injuries were reported.

The house is owned by Kevin and Bonita McPherren, records show. The owners declined to comment, other than saying their pets were OK.

Responding to the scene were the Wake Forest, Wendell, Swift Creek, Northern Wake and New Hope fire departments. Wake County EMS and the Wake County Sheriff's Office also responded.