Neighbor speaks out about house fire, multiple pets trapped inside

Fire crews battled heat exhaustion as they worked to put out the massive blaze that consumed most of the home on the 800 block of Cortez in Pharr.Action 4 News witnessed the family come home, distraught to see almost everything they had, now lost.Neighbors said a loud boom caught their attention."There were like three consecutive back fires all in a row that TMs when we looked up and saw a big black cloud of smoke," Joline Tapia said.Some risking their own lives to save another."Neighbors went inside to try and save the animals because we could hear them screaming and he was only able to save two small dogs and a bird," Tapia said.Neighbors said the elderly couple that lived in the home loved animals.While the flames engulfed the home a collection of canaries, several dogs and chickens---were inside."I live in the corner it took me like two seconds to get here by the time I got here the whole house was engaged in flames there was no chance at all," Tapia said.3 agencies responded to the 9-1-1 call.It took Pharr, San Juan, and Edinburg fire crews to battle the blaze.About 40 fire personnel on site.Pharr Assistant Fire Chief Carlos Mandujano said due to the heat, other agencies were called to prevent heat exhaustion."No one was injured the only thing that we have to make sure that all our personnel are accounted for and all our personnel have been checked out for their blood pressure and make sure that the way they came in is the way they are suppose to go home safely," Assistant Chief Mandujano said.The adjacent home had minor fire exposure.Assistant Fire Chief Carlos Mandujano said it took a while to put the blaze out because when they arrived the fire was already reaching areas like the attic and a vented roof.The number of pets trapped inside is unknown at this time.The investigation is ongoing.

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