Eight people are left homeless after a house fire on 46th Street and Avenue T on Thursday.
Around 1:30p.m. fire fighters rushed to the home where huge plumes of smoke were billowing out of the garage.
Investigators say four people were sleeping inside the home when the fire started, and there were no working smoke detectors. "They're lucky to be alive," said Elliot Eldredge, assistant fire marshal.
Eldredge says smoke woke up one of the residents who was then able to alert the rest of the people inside. The four made it out safely but their 17 pets were still inside.
Fire fighters rushed inside and pulled out 13 puppies and three dogs. They gave oxygen to the adult dogs, but the puppies' mother later died. The pet cat was not found.
"My family is alive and that's all that matters. They didn't get hurt, and they were able to save most of the animals. That's what's important," cried Misty Corwin-Fish, the sister of the home owner. "My mom was inside. My brother was inside. They were asleep…I don't know what would have happened if 911 wasn't called."
Fire investigators say this was an electrical fire, possibly caused by a space heater in the garage. While there is extensive smoke damage, Eldredge says the home is not a complete loss and can be repaired.
The Red Cross has been called in to assist. They will put the eight residents in a hotel for about three days and give them clothes to stay warm.
The dogs were initially taken by a neighbor, but now the Humane Society of West Texas has stepped in to take the puppies and feed them. The puppies are only 1-2 weeks old. The Humane Society is looking for volunteers to help out.
If you'd like to help, you can contact Stacy at 466-6644.
Copyright 2012 KCBD NewsChannel 11