Woman saves dog from burning apartment

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TEMPE, Ariz. --  A woman and her dog are recovering after a cooking fire started in their apartment late Tuesday afternoon.

The fire started at about 3 p.m. in a second-floor apartment at Country Club Apartments near Broadway Road and McClintock Drive in Tempe. 

Firefighters had to rescue Kim Berger after she went back into the burning apartment to get her dog. She then became trapped on her neighbor's balcony. Firefighters were able to get her down safely.

Berger suffered minor burns to her hands but refused any treatment.

Berger's dog, Hala, is an assistance dog.

"She's my life," Berger said, clearly upset. "I got her at 5 weeks old and I've never been separated from her. ... My dog is my best friend. She really is."

Firefighters were able to rescue the dog, but she initially was unresponsive. Hala was revived after being given oxygen and CPR. She was then transported to a local veterinarian's office. The vet says he expects the 7-year-old dog to recover.

Berger and her dog were sleeping when the fire broke out. 

Berger's son said he was cooking and thought he turned off the stove before he left.

"I heard the click for it to turn off," Ryan Ripley said. "We came back and it was billowing, so it must have shot right back on to high."

Firefighters said Berger did not have a working smoke detector in her apartment. 

The Red Cross is now helping Berger with a temporary place to live.