Local sanctuary asking for help after fire kills multiple birds

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PETERSBURG, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Several birds have died after a fire at the Berkshire Bird Paradise in Petersburg.

Thursday evening, firefighters were called to the area after heavy smoke was found inside the building.

The fire occurred inside the “parrot house.” No rare birds were killed, but a number of smaller parakeets did not make it.

Peter Dubacher, who runs the sanctuary, was hospitalized for smoke inhalation, after he went inside the burning structure to save as many birds as he could. He is not in critical condition.

His daughter, Elizabeth Dubacher, is a caretaker at the sanctuary. She calls the incident “heartbreaking,” and says in order to have the parrot house fixed up by wintertime, Berkshire Bird Paradise needs help.

“We are asking the help of anybody that can possibly help us with the place,” Elizabeth told News10, “with anything you can possibly help. Physically, financially, mentally, and send good vibes.”

According to Grafton Fire Chief Jim Goyer, a bird knocked over a heat lamp, and it landed on some dry vines and caused the smoke.

The building has significant smoke damage, and on Friday, volunteers were still working to gut out the structure, and remove any birds still taking shelter inside.

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