Animals evacuated from Gilbert vet clinic due to hazmat situation

Firefighters evacuated animals from a Gilbert vet clinic on Thursday due to a hazmat situation.

The Gilbert Fire and Rescue Department received a 911 call at around 1:30 a.m. and as soon as crews detected a hazardous situation, they started evacuating the clinic immediately.

"On the way out, we were able to take out one animal," Battalion Chief Josh Ehrman said. "There were 14 animals still inside."

Ehrman says the priority this morning was getting the remaining 13 dogs and one cat out of the clinic as soon as possible. With employees safe, members of the hazmat team worked diligently to get to the pets.

"We do this because we care so much for the pets," Raegan Wells said. "It was quite stressful for our team and have taken excellent care of our pets."

Blue Pearl is one of six practices that operates out of the Arizona Veterinary Specialty Center and Wells says pet owners were contacted and made aware of the situation.

One pet was taken to the First Pet Clinic and three of the pets were transported to nearby Animal Clinic 11 in Scottsdale.

"Fortunately, all of those pets are safe," she said. "They have all been evaluated and confirmed to be in good condition right now."

The fire department quickly determined the leak wasn't natural gas, but levels remained high so the 91st Civil Support Team from the National Guard was called in to investigate. The scene was cleared at about 10:30 a.m.

"Originally, it was called in as natural gas, musty odor on the inside of the building, it kind of made them nauseous," Chief Ehrman said.

All animals will remain under careful observation.

>>VIDEO from the scene: