BERWICK, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — 13 pets are now dead after an early morning fire in Columbia County.

Frank Fulkersin has been living in this home in Berwick Borough for over 40 years. He woke up this morning with no idea it would be his last in the home he built a life in.

“I could see smoke just barely starting in my kitchen and I walked out there to find out what was going on and I felt the heat on the back wall. That’s when I knew something was going on—something really bad,” said Fulkersin.

He immediately got out of the house with only the clothes on his back and his cell phone to call 911.

“Watching all them shows and newscasts on fires, I knew exactly what to do and when to do it,” said Fulkersin.

He says he lost 12 cats, one dog and all the memories of his late wife.

“All I could do was just get myself out I didn’t even have time to get my jackets hanging on the front door or anything,” said Fulkersin.

He sat for hours across the street watching firefighters attempt to save his home.

“It’s been a tough fire to battle,” said Berwick Deputy Fire Chief Corey Wark.

Firefighters tell Eyewitness News, the weather created many roadblocks when trying to battle this fire.

“The conditions make it tough. It slowed our response down. When we got dispatched the roads were slick this morning so I had my driver proceed with caution. And then getting here you can’t move as fast. I hooked to the fire hydrant down here on the corner. All your motions are just slower,” said Chief Wark.

A state police fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.