Three family pets were killed in a Santee house fire that broke out in a garage in the early hours of the morning on Memorial Day.
The fire erupted at around 3 a.m. at a home on Timberlane Way. Three adults and eight pets were sleeping inside.
Dorothy Brown has lived next door to the Roark family for 24 years. She saw the fire and jumped into action.
“I just went through my hall and pounded on doors, “Fire! fire!” to get them out,” she said “I was so scared that I couldn’t get them because I (couldn't) touch the doors because the doors were real hot."
Brown said soon after, other neighbors came to help.
"I grabbed my hose and went over and tried to put it out because I didn’t know how bad it would get, and I started yelling “Fire!” really loud,” Brown said.
Emily Roark, was sleeping inside the home, along with her two sons, ages seven and 12. She woke up to the smell of fire and followed her nose to the other side of the home, where she looked through a window into the garage and saw the fire.
Roark quickly woke up her children, boyfriend and mother and they escaped to the side yard. Her boyfriend Nick Mroz, said he tried to go back in for the pets, but the fire was too great.
“The heat was so intense," Brown said. "Everything in the house melted."
Because of the fire's immensity, the family was stuck in the yard with nowhere to go. Other neighbors lifted them over the side fence and helped them escape.
One of the cars in the driveway exploded, Brown said. Firefighters saved three rabbits and a pet reptile, but they were unable to save Daisy, a dog, and Mali, a parrot.
Mroz says Daisy was “absolutely the most precious dog I ever knew" and that the family is heartbroken over the deaths of Daisy and Mali.
“The African gray. She had him for over 21 years," Brown said. "Mali, was the talker of our neighborhood. And Daisy, she was a rescue pup. Everybody is upset that those two died."
A second dog survived the fire.
Aside from each other and a few of their pets, the Roarck family lost everything in the fire. Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help them get back on their feet.