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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A family and their pets are now without a home after an early morning house fire in Hialeah.

It happened on West 15th Court. One family member, Urbano Medero, said his girlfriend, sister, and step-daughter all managed to make it out safely. Then he turned his attention to the other members of the family – their pets.

Medero did not leave all the work to the firefighters. He jumped in to help save their animals which include seven dogs, a few cats, and even a pig.

“They called me. I was at work,” he said. “I ran over here and everything was on fire. Smoke was coming through the roof. I just wanted to get the pets to safety. That was the main concern.”

Medero described the scene as “overwhelming.”

“I thank God that everybody was fine, and I was able to respond when they needed me,” he said. “We were able to survive this one and see another day.”

A neighbor says he smelled what he thought was a barbecue around midnight.

“I’m speechless of how close I am to these people,” he said. “The fire could have spread.”

Hialeah Fire Captain David Rodriguez said the fire started in the bedroom and moved to the attic. The heaviest damage appears to be on the side of the home at a window, where dark black smoke damage stains the side of the wall up to the roof.

Rodriguez said the house is considered uninhabitable.

A man, who identified himself as Medero’s uncle, was looking at the house several hours after the scene cleared. He said they were renting the property and are now staying with family members. The Red Cross is also assisting the family.

The animals are being kept in cages in the backyard of the home.

The Hialeah Fire Department has not yet identified the cause of the fire.

By Karli Barnett

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