City | 4:36 pm | January 17, 2012 | By Andrew Giambrone

Blaze on State Street claims three cats

A fire at Da Legna restaurant, above, claimed the lives of three cats.
A fire at Da Legna restaurant, above, claimed the lives of three cats. Photo by Facebook.

When a fire broke out at the newly-opened Da Legna restaurant on State Street over the weekend, everyone inside got out unharmed — every human, that is.

After the fire, clean-up workers found Spooky hiding in a closet to protect himself from the smoke and the cold air, CT Post reported today. He was immediately taken across the street to the New Haven Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine, where he received oxygen treatment. A dog named Mona and a cat named Sammy were also rescued, but three cats did not survive the blaze.

The owner of the apartment and the pets, Mike Simonelli, a veteran, was hospitalized after a car crash last Friday. When the building caught on fire, he was still in serious condition and was not able to pick up his injured animals.

Residents in the neighborhood are raising money for the hospital bill and have already collected more than $1,000. Donations can be made at the SoHu Neighborhood Association’s website.

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