MENDON, N.Y. -- More than 40 animals were staying at Add-En-On Kennels when fire broke out Sunday afternoon.

The Honeoye Falls fire chief said five dogs had to be transported to an animal hospital. He said several other animals had already died.

Fire Chief Paul Churnetski said an automatic alarm went off in the building around noon. When they arrived, there was smoke and fire pouring out of the windows.

Corporal John Helfer with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said an employee of the kennel saw smoke and fire coming from inside. Other employees tried to free the dogs being housed there. Helfer said they were able to free about 30 of the animals but the others died.

One of the employees had to be taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. 

Investigators do not know the cause of the fire at this time but it is believed that electric space heaters could have been a factor.

Pet owners were told to check several locations in the area to pick up their dogs. Some reunited with their relocated pets at Calvary Lodge in Mendon.

A woman who saw the fire and tried to help was also at the lodge.

"One of my horse boarders called me to say there was a fire at the kennel. A friend was cleaning stalls, so we grabbed all the ropes and dog leashes that we could from our barn and at that point we couldn't get down the road, you could see the fire pretty much enveloped the kennel and there was really heavy smoke, so you knew it wasn't good," said Ellen Smith of Mendon. 

"At this point several dogs from the kennel were rescued and moved and have been taken to various shelters through word from employee's here as well as volunteers that came in to help," said Fire Cheif Paul Churnetski.

Add-En-On Kennels has operated in Mendon for decades. Smith and others said it is heartbreaking to know that a fire has destroyed a special place in the community as well as the animals who perished.

If you had a pet at Add-En-On and still have not located it, a number of area shelters, kennels and veterinary hospitals took in the survivors of the fire.

Among them is the Creekside Resort's animal lodge in Macedon which said it is taken in a dozen pets. Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Service on White Spruce Boulevard in Rochester said it has treated some survivors for injuries.