SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — A Sacramento woman was thanking firefighters for saving almost 20 pets from her burning home early Thursday morning during a tricky rescue.

Sacramento resident Tamara Murray said the frightening ordeal at her home on the 3400 block of I Street started with a sound.

“I heard a popping noise. It was by my garage door. I opened it up and I seen flames shooting up,” said Murray.

Adrenaline kicked in as Murray frantically tried to figure out how to get all of her pets out of the home alive.

Once firefighters arrived, she gave them one mission.

“I said ‘Don’t grab anything else! Just grab the animals!'” said Murray.

And so they began their search through the smoke-filled home.

“They were free roaming throughout the house. There was a lot of things packed in the house which made it difficult for firefighters to get in and find the dogs,” said Sacramento Metro Fire Battalion Chief Tony Peck.

Fire crews were able to find and rescue every one of Murray’s pets: 14 dogs and four cats in all.

“The crews on scene did a great job of working together, stopping the fire, getting the dogs out and providing medical care,” said Peck.

Cameras captured a touching moment in a time of uncertainty as a Sacramento Metro firefighter gave oxygen to a frightened Maltese just rescued from a fire.

Murray said she is grateful to the firefighters, as these animals are more than her pets. They are her family.

“These guys sleep with me, they don’t give me much room in the bed with a king sized,” said Murray. “These guys are my kids. I never had kids.”

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