Cats rescued from house intentionally set on fire

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Wichita firefighters rescued eight cats from a house fire that was intentionally set on fire this weekend.

"The fire was determined to be intentionally set by the homeowner herself," said Lt Jose Ocadiz, Wichita Fire Dept.

The fire was reported at a house in the 2100 block of South Saint Francis on Sunday around 10 a.m.

Neighbors called in the fire after seeing smoke.

"I said, 'Ma'am, why is your house smoking like that?' And she said, 'Cause it's on fire.' That's all she said, 'Because it's on fire.' Like it was something typical and average and ordinary," said Joshua Rodriguez, neighbor.

Four cats and four kittens were rescued from the house, but one kitten later died of fire-related injuries.

"Even out on scene, they didn't think the kitten was going to make it. The injuries were pretty severe," said Lt Brian Sigman, Wichita Police Dept. Animal Control.

Police arrested Gena Hanna on arson and animal endangerment charges. The 50-year-old has previously been to prison for criminal damage, threat, and assault.

Investigators said the fire caused $40,000 in damage to the structure and $5,000 to contents.

The kittens are in foster homes, while the adult cats are recuperating from smoke inhalation at the Animal Control building.

Once the cats are released from evidence, they will be available for adoption through the Kansas Humane Society. To view pets available for adoption, click here.

For the animal ownership ordinances in Wichita, click here.

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