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Case manager for the homeless left with nothing after apartment fire

Miraculous rescue of 7 foster kittens and 3 personal pets from Sabrina Olsen's apartment at the time of the fire
Posted at 8:00 PM, Oct 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-02 19:12:11-04

Sabrina Olsen spent her weekend taking inventory of what's left in her apartment after a possible electric fire sparked last week. There's not much left.

"There's also a lot of glass. Oh, and burnt little pictures of the kittens," Olsen noted while walking around the charred aftermath.

By day, Olsen is a case manager for people experiencing homelessness.

"I help them come up with a plan to exit the shelter and then get into stable housing," she explained.

In her free time, she fosters animals. Even after the fire, you can make out a playpen filled with kitten toys, beds, animal food and bottles.

"Especially throughout COVID I was like, shelters need us. And so I started fostering early COVID and just sent my 1,052nd kitten to their forever home," Olsen said.

She has three pets herself, two of which have special needs.

Seven of her foster kittens were home last Thursday when the fire broke out. Olsen was at work when she got the call.

"They're only four weeks old, so they're tiny. I was like, there's no way they're alive," Olsen remembered.

She was relieved to find out the firefighters were able to rescue all the kittens and her personal pets.

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Thousands of dollars later, her pets have been discharged and the foster kittens have been released too.

"The fosters are back with the rescue and going to go to a different foster (pet parent) until they're ready for adoption," Olsen said.

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She'll now be starting mostly from scratch.

"I don't have anything for my animals anymore. No food, no beds, no nothing. Then people have been asking like what they can do to help and it's meant the world," Olsen, who is now staying with friends, said.

With that good community behind her and renters insurance, she's one of the lucky ones. She said she knows all too well how differently this situation could have turned out.

"A lot of the guys that I work with in the shelter, they have similar stories to mine right now," Olsen said. "You can fall into homelessness or be experiencing homelessness, no matter who you are. It can happen to anyone. You just got to treat people kindly and come together as a community and not just make first initial judgments on people when they're going through a hard time."

The foster kittens that survived the fire will eventually be up for adoption through Demi's Animal Rescue and Agents of Chaos TNR.

Longtime foster pet parent left with nothing after apartment fire

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