Five puppies trapped inside a burning south Phoenix home died of smoke inhalation on Thursday.
Investigators say their owner is homeless and had been squatting in an empty house, near 19th Street and Broadway. Smoke and flames tore through the roof, and the roof caved in. within minutes, there wasn't much left. Firefighters tried to save the dogs, but sadly, they were too late.
"It's a real sad story because they lady is known for loving dogs," says neighbor Daryl Ross.
Firefighters fought back the flames, trying to rescue five puppies trapped inside. Their owner is devastated.
"She said she needs to get her dogs out and everything else, all the neighbors got together and tried to pull her away," says neighbor Christopher Banks. "I just feel for her knowing that thanksgiving is coming next week and everything else."
Neighbors say this woman had been evicted from her home 8 months ago. A month later she had nowhere to go, and moved back into the now empty house as a squatter.
"I feel for her that she was living there with no lights, no power, neighbors tried to help her out as much as we could," says Banks.
Thursday just after 10 a.m. the house caught fire. Arson investigators are trying to figure out why, especially because the house didn't have power. They say it's possible she was trying to keep her puppies warm when the fire started.
"Sounds like this is where the neighborhood gets together and we help each other out," says Ross.
The house has now been boarded up for safety reasons. We're told the homeowner lives in California and this is one of several properties.