SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Last month dozens of animals were killed after a wildlife sanctuary went up in flames.
The devastating fire broke out just six weeks ago taking the lives of more than 40 animals at the sanctuary. Now thanks to the community’s donations the sanctuary is getting ready to reopen its doors.
“December 5th, we all woke up to our clinic building on fire. We lost pretty much everything including over 40 animals,” said Red Creek Wildlife Center founder.
Founder Peggy Hentz recalls the day when Red Creek Wildlife Center went up in flames due to a faulty power strip.
The devastating fire destroyed the facility that’s been open since 1991 also taking the lives of more than 40 animals inside.
“When we first started using that building, we were taking in 800 to 900 animals a year, now we taking in over 4,000 a year. So we outgrew it, the fire just complicated the whole process,” explained Hentz.
Six weeks later the rescue remains closed to the public but is still treating wildlife in desperate need out of its temporary facility next door.
That’s where they will be resuming operations as they put together plans to rebuild the facility lost in the fire.
Hentz tells Eyewitness News she is overwhelmed by the help from the community and her team.
“I never thought that my desire to save animals was going to blow up into you know this huge organization that has so many employees and community support,” said Hentz.
Donations have been pouring in from across the nation as they work to reopen. Baby bottles, water bowls, and medical supplies are just some of the items that have been sent to the rescue.
While the non-profit is set to reopen in the next couple of weeks Hentz says she has also made it her mission to share the dangers of using power strips.
“Every time you put a plug in and out of a power strip, you are weakening it and it can end up building up heat resistance if it doesn’t make a perfect connection and that is what started the fire,” explained Hentz.
If you’d like to help and donate, the Red Creek Wildlife Sanctuary has a donations page.