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TREME, La. (WGNO)- Rushing to the rescue and risking their lives to save a dozen cats and two residents, the New Orleans Firefighters worked quickly to extinguish the flames.

“This morning I left my house at about 7:25, I live in the next block. I was bringing my son to school and we notice, he thought it was foggy but, I could smell the smoke,” explained Glen Miller, witness. “We walked out to the neutral ground and we could see the black billowing smoke coming out of the attic area. “

Shortly after, the firetrucks started arriving. The time was 8:27 A.M. Thursday morning.

“They found heavy fire on the second floor to the right side. They immediately struck a second alarm at 8:28. And the fire was placed under control at 8:49,” shared Roman Nelson, NOFD Fire Chief.

“They’re working their hearts out. I saw them bring out at least 6 cats personally. I spoke to someone else on the neutral ground and they said they brought out a couple before that,” said Miller. “They’ve been out there on the edge of the curb with airbags trying to resuscitate the cats pumping their little hearts. Trying to keep them going it’s really sad and it’s kind of heart-wrenching. Really.”

Unfortunately, even after hours of trying to revive cats, they did not survive. At this time the total number of cats pulled from the fire is 12.

There were two occupants inside when the fire began. One is being treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation. The other victim, who is the owner of the building, is being treated on the scene while helping the fire department with info about the incident.

“The fire looks like it started in his unit. He says, he was in his bedroom and went to the rear of the building to check on the other unit that his mother normally occupies but, she’s out of town. When he came back, his bedroom was on fire,” said Chief Nelson.

What caused the fire is being investigated at this time.