9 puppies killed in house fire in Chandler

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Jill Galus

Posted on January 27, 2014 at 6:23 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 28 at 2:27 PM

Map: Near Alma School and Ray roads

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CHANDLER. Ariz. -- Nine puppies died in an early morning fire that gutted a Chandler house, leaving more than half a dozen people homeless.

It happened at about 2 a.m. Monday in a neighborhood northeast of Alma School and Ray roads.

The seven people who were asleep in the home woke up in time to get out safely. Their two adult dogs also escaped the burning home. The dogs' litter of 4-week-old puppies, however, was trapped in the garage.

Investigators believe that's where the fired started, although they have not determined what sparked it.

Video from the scene showed major damage to the front of the house, much of it concentrated around the garage area.

The intense flames reportedly blew out a window.

Anita Thornton heard the breaking glass and ran outside to find her neighbor's house in flames.

"The next thing you know the car, the truck in the driveway, caught on fire. Then it kind of like blew up," she said.

Firefighters are not sure if the home, which is a total loss, was equipped with working smoke detectors.

Within hours of learning about this story, two families donated five Fido Bags to the Chandler Fire Department, according to The fetch Foundation. Neither one of those generous families lives in Chandler.

It's hard to say if the specialized life-saving equipment would have helped in this particular situation because the puppies were trapped, never making it out of the burning garage.

Until these donations, however, the Chandler Fire Department did not have Fido Bags on its trucks.

"From this tragedy Chandler will now have some of the Fido Bags needed to help save ... beloved pets in a fire," Marie Peck of The fetch Foundation said in an email to media outlets.

The bags, which cost $100 each, contain equipment designed specifically for animals, as well as tools to helps firefighters handle frightened and potentially combative pets.

Fido Bags have been instrumental in saving several pets caught in house fires in recent weeks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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