Family safe, turtle saved from house fire in Phoenix

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PHOENIX – A Phoenix family is safe and whole, thanks to firefighters, after an early morning fire tore through their home.

Crews were called out to the area of Fourth Avenue and Hatcher Road at about 4 a.m.

The family was asleep when the fire broke out. The huge flames destroyed the back part of the house, including the kitchen, the Arizona room, and the family room.

The mother and father and their teenage daughter were outside on the front lawn when firefighters arrived on the scene, but one family member was missing – Leonardo the turtle.

Firefighters were able to get the turtle out safely.

“Pets are just part of the family. … It’s like a kid to them,” said Capt. Ben Santillan of the Phoenix Fire Department. He explained that people often will run back inside a burning home to try and rescue their pets.

“In turn, we have to grab the pet and the person to get them out,” Santillan continued.

Firefighters say that while people are their first priority, they will do everything they can to save pets, too.

No injuries were reported. That includes Leonardo.

The family does have a place to stay until they are allowed back into their home.

Investigators are still trying to determine what sparked the fire.