Early morning blaze destroys home, claims life of family dog

It was a tragic start to the new year for one valley family after fire ripped through their home, destroying it and most of the contents, along with claiming the life of a family pet.

"I got a call from her saying that the house was on fire, that's all I knew."

Too distraught to show her face, the owner of this Phoenix home was in disbelief Thursday morning as she watched firefighters battle a massive blaze that destroyed a home she was renting to her twin sister, her husband and two children.

"Someone here called because no one was here.. they were all at families' for New Year's," said a family member.

The residents were not home.  They were with family members and had been ringing in the new year when they received a call regarding the house fire.

"We had 911 reports of flames coming from the roof," said a firefighter at the scene.  "You can see the fire made its way through the attic, through the roof, so that tells you that fire was burning pretty hard and it's going to cause a lot of damage on the inside."

Crews from Phoenix and Glendale responded to several 911 calls that came in just before 5:30 a.m.  The home near 31st Avenue and Grovers was quickly overcome by flames and smoke.  The heavy air conditioning unit forced most of the roof to cave in.

Throughout the morning, family members and friends carried out as many personal belongings as they could possibly save.

The family pet named Keller, a dog just a few years old, did not survive.  The loss is a great one for a family who will start the new year rebuilding what was lost.
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