Family escapes 1st-alarm house fire in Tempe

"I didn't see any flames," Julie Devlin said. "There was smoke in the house, although it was dark, but I couldn't really tell that initially."

Julie and her family had a rude wake-up call this morning when they smelled smoke in their home.

"I ran and woke up my husband and my son and our one dog was with us," she said. "I called the other dog and the cat, but I couldn't find them so we just ran out. We were able to get out in time... and we were able to breathe."

The first-alarm fire started in the garage and aggressively spread to the attic of the main house. Fire crews say the flames grew so intense that they went defensive.

After four hours, crews were able to put out the blaze, leaving the Devlins' home a total loss.


Concerned neighbors rushed to the family's aide, helping them tent to their farm animals; a miniature horse, goat, and three house pets.

The fire, unfortunately, cost one of the dogs its life.

"We have to be grateful for what we have because our neighbors just lost their house at 3:30 in the morning," Anita Sykes said. "I can't even imagine what that feels like waking up to a fire in the house."

Julie says she and her husband say they have no idea how the fire may have started, but now that the smoke has cleared, she says the most important thing is that her family is OK.