Firefighters try to save dogs after Tempe house fire

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TEMPE -- Firefighters worked hard to save two dogs after a house fire in Tempe Tuesday morning.

GRAPHIC: 1 dog dies

Crews were called out to the home near Priest and University at about 7 a.m.

According to the fire department, the family was asleep when the fire broke out. The woman escaped safely. Her brother went back in to try and rescue the dogs, said Fire Inspector Mike Reichling of the Tempe Fire Department.

That man was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and possibly some burns. He is expected to recover.

In addition to helping the human victims, crews were also trying to save two dogs.

Video from NewsChopper 3 and 3TV ground crews showed firefighters using oxygen masks and performing compressions on one of the dogs.

"We protect life and property, and animals are very much a big part of our lives," Reichling said. "We're going to do everything possible to save those animals."

Police rushed the pit bulls to an emergency animal clinic. One of the dogs was breathing on its own. The other was struggling and did not make it.

"The police department jumped right in, put them in the back of a squad car with our paramedics," Reichling said.

It's not clear yet what sparked the fire and the extent of damage to the house was not immediately known.

The Tempe fire inspector said the smoke detector didn't have a battery in it so the family wasn't alerted to the fire.