5 People and 9 dogs displaced by house fire

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

MESA, Ariz. -- A fire caused extensive damage to a home and several vehicles on Wednesday morning.

The fire started at about 12:30 a.m. in the carport area outside of the home, near Southern Avenue and Horne, according to firefighters.

Five people and nine dogs were able to get out safely.

Firefighters from Mesa and Gilbert rushed to the home after neighbors called 911 to report what they thought was an explosion.

Crews said they could see flames long before they arrived on scene.

"They had seen fire actually from the main road off of Broadway," said Capt. Ken Hall with the Mesa Fire Department. "That's how high these flames were at that point. So we had an advance fire by the time we got here but the crews were able to get a lot of water onto that fire fairly quickly and knock it down."

The fire spread to some trees but firefighters were able to contain it before it jumped to the neighboring houses.

A woman who was in the home when the fire started said it happened so quickly that she did not have time to grab any of her belongings.

"I only had time to think to get the dogs out," said Michelle Baker. "That was the hardest part because they're scared. We couldn't find the leashes in time so we had to drag them out by their collars, literally had to carry another one. I don't know what we're going to do. You want to talk about a nightmare come to life and this is it."

This tragedy comes just after Baker's father passed away. She said she was discussing plans for his funeral when the fire started.

"My dad, who's a Vietnam veteran, passed away three weeks ago." Baker said. "Everything we had was in that house."

The American Red Cross is assisting Baker and the others who were displaced by the fire.

Investigators are working to determine what caused the fire.