Firefighters rescue 23 animals from burning home in California

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Fourteen dogs, five birds and four cats were rescued during a house fire in California. (KTRK)

Firefighters saved the lives of nearly two-dozen animals after a fire engulfed their California home.

Investigators in Sacramento say the fire started Thursday in the garage and quickly spread to the attic.

Tamara Murray says she heard a popping sound. It quickly turned into much more.

"It was by my garage door, and I opened it up and I see flames shooting up," Murray said.

Murray attempted to rescue all her pets, but when she couldn't, she employed the help of the firefighters who rushed to the scene.

"I said, 'Don't grab anything else, just grab the animals,'" she said.

A SAC-Metro firefighter rescued a frightened Maltese and gave it oxygen, a touching moment in a time of uncertainty.

"These guys are my kids," Murray said. "I don't ever had, I never had kids."

One firefighter said even as the animals were free roaming throughout the house, they were able to rescue most of the animals, which included 14 dogs and four cats.

Five birds were also saved, but one died in the fire.

Murray says she's grateful to the firefighters as these animals are more than her pets.

They are her family.

"These guys sleep with me," she said, with a laugh. "Don't give me much room in the bed."

Investigators are working to determine how the fire started.

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