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Dog reunited with puppies after house fire

Posted at 11:21 AM, Mar 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-16 20:45:51-04

Firefighters rescued five puppies from a midtown fire Wednesday that destroyed a single mother's home. 

Capt. Barrett Baker with Tucson Fire says the call came in shortly after 11 a.m. at a home near Fort Lowell and Stone. 

Baker says when crews arrived, they saw heavy smoke coming from the home and learned the fire was coming from the back bedroom. 

They also found five newborn puppies on the front porch. 

"They needed oxygen," said Baker. "Obviously [with] the amount of smoke that was billowing out of that house."

He says the animal oxygen masks Tucson Fire has didn't fit the tiny puppies so they held the masks as close as possible. Once they were revived, neighbor Billy Huffman watched over the puppies and kept them safe. 

"I was worried about the puppies more than I was worried about the fire," said Huffman. 

The woman who lives in the home arrived back at the house after she says she received a call from work that her home was on fire. She began frantically trying to reunite the puppies with their mother, Cookie who was hiding under a trailer. 

Eventually with help from neighbors and a Tucson Police officer, Cookie found her babies and began feeding them. 

"We can replace the furniture, we but can't replace Cookie," said Irene, who lives at the home. 

And if saving five puppies wasn't enough, one Tucson firefighter even grabbed several photo albums from the house. Irene later thanked him and called him her "hero." 
"If there's anything that we can do to try and make this nightmare a little bit better, than that's what were here for," said Baker.
Investigators are still working to find out what caused the fire, but Irene tells 9OYS she didn't have insurance. All four people who lived in the home and six dogs were able to escape unharmed.      
"That's monetary," said Irene. "I can replace that but I can't replace my dog and my puppies and my children."
To donate to the family's gofundme page click here.