LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - When Lufkin firefighters responded to a house fire in the 2200 block of Atkinson Drive early Tuesday afternoon, they found the woman who lives in the house lying unconscious in the yard.
"She was alone in the house, and I think trying to rescue her animals," Lufkin Fire Chief Ted Lovett said.
Lufkin fire crews responded to the blaze at approximately 12:45 p.m., and Lufkin Police officers blocked off both directions of Atkinson Drive all the way to the loop.
According to an Paula Taylor, an animal control officer for the City of Lufkin, multiple dead dogs and cats were pulled from the wreckage of the rental home. Animal control officers and firefighters rescued three dogs, two ferrets, and a cat. The animals were taken to a local veterinary clinic for treatment of smoke inhalation.
"We would prefer that humans get out first, but we are also here for the animals," Taylor said at the scene. "We have firefighters going through the how right now, making sure we haven't left anyone in there."
Taylor said the animals will be taken to a local shelter after they are treated. She said they will not be put down or adopted out, and that they will be returned to their owner as soon as she gets out of the hospital.
Workers from Oncor were also on scene to disconnect the home's electricity. The woman was transported to Lufkin's Memorial Hospital for treatment. There was no word on her condition.
Lovett said it looks as though the home was almost completely gutted by the blaze.
"I think today we had a lucky day," Taylor said. "We had only a few with smoke inhalation."
Fire officials said they are glad they made it time to rescue the woman and save some of her pets.