A two-alarm fire that struck the house at 81 Orchard St. in Watertown began in the basement of the two-story home, said Watertown Deputy Fire Chief Robert Quinn.
The fire began just after 4 p.m. at the two-family home, located across the street from the Victory Field football turf. One of the families was at home when the fire started and they were able to get out. A pet cat and a chinchilla were saved, Quinn said, but a second cat died from smoke inhalation.
A second alarm was called soon after firefighters arrived, but fire crews had doused the flames by about 4:40 p.m. and they were checking for any spread of the blaze.
The blaze mostly damaged the basement, Quinn said, but it had begun to spread.
"Most of the fire damage was contained to the basement," Quinn said. "There was smoke damage in the rest of the house. The fire did start to get up into the walls in the first floor. There was smoke damage and water damage and a little bit of fire damage on the first floor, and heavy fire damage in the basement."
Fire officials have not determined the cause of the fire, Quinn said, and continue to investigate.