TRENTON, N.C. (WNCT) – A Jones County man is healing after losing 17 of his pets in a house fire. 

Charred remains are all that’s left of James Hall’s home. Now, he’s learning to cope with not only that but the loss of his beloved animals. 

“It’s been the hardest of my life. Nothing has ever come close to how hurt I am. I’ll never be the same. It just broke me. The loss [all] at once is just so overwhelming,” said Hall. 

On Jan. 11, crews responded to a fire on the outskirts of Trenton along Plantation Road. They reported at the time eight dogs and seven cats were lost in the blaze. Now, Hall tells 9OYS that the total number lost was 17. 

“That was everything I loved,” said Hall.  

Hall is an avid animal lover who rescued each of his pets for different reasons. Now, only three dogs and one badly injured cat remain. As he works to move forward with them, he’s grateful for those who have been praying and sending donations his way. 

“Just hug your babies tight. You don’t know when you can lose them. And I don’t want anybody else to feel the pain I’m feeling, so hold them tight,” said Hall.  

The cause of the fire is still unknown currently. Click here if you would like to donate to Hall’s GoFundMe page.