Firefighters rescue nearly 20 pets from burning home

A house fire broke out at an East Lawton home late Thursday afternoon, but luckily no one was home at the time. Unfortunately, several pets were trapped inside. Neighbors say the woman who lives in the house on SE Ellsworth is a breeder -- and firefighters pulled nearly 20 pets from the home during and after the fire. Neighbors say they were scared the disabled boy who lives in the house was trapped inside along with the animals.

The sheriff's deputy was one of the first on the scene, and the first to take action. "And I told him to kick in that door, make sure make sure there isn't anybody," said neighbor and eyewitness Chris Woodall. "I knew she had a lot of animals I wanted to get out of there, I knew her son was in a wheelchair I wanted to get him, if anyone was home."

That's when Chris says he stayed on the porch as the deputy crawled on his stomach through the house, pulling pets away from the blaze. And 7-News was there as he resuscitated a small dog -- one of many trapped in the smoke. "We could hear them, but we couldn't see them," Woodall said. "There were more animals in there, but it was too smoky, we couldn't get in there any further."

For Chris's cousin Cody, this fire hits too close to home, because his disabled mom lives right behind this house -- and was also trapped in that smoke as it billowed into her home too. "When I found out it was this house on fire," Cody Perez said, "you know my mom can't get out of bed by herself. I'm the only one whose strong enough to get her out of bed, so... my heart was beating pretty fast, I thought I was going to have a heart attack."

Fire officials are still investigating the cause of this fire, but preliminary reports say it looks like it started in the garage. If so, officials say that's good -- because the rest of the home may be salvageable as long as there isn't too much smoke and water damage.