More than a dozen dogs and cats killed after fire tears through unlicensed NJ pet daycare

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CLIFTON, N.J. (PIX11/AP) -- There are no doubt heavy hearts Tuesday night after a massive fire broke out inside a home along Mountain View Avenue in Clifton, New Jersey.

The home operated as a pet day care facility called "Your Family Pet Sitters."  Inside the home were sixteen animals that simply had no where to go as the flames quickly spread.

"We love dogs, we help out with the dogs, it is just ultra sad," said Tom Kiefer, who owned the daycare.

The Clifton Fire Department's Deputy Chief, Norman Tahan, says this was a stubborn fire to fight in the hot summer sun.

"Several times we had to pull out because the building was going to flash over," described Tahan.   "Then the roof began collapsing, so we had to pull out again."

While no person was inside the home or injured, this was still an unthinkable tragedy.  Eleven dogs and 3 cats did not make it out and died in the fire. The Chief says the pets were found scattered throughout the house.

Joan Mosa is the homeowner and says her daughter was able to rescue two dogs.

"We lost our pets and my daughter risked her life trying to save them," she said.

Unfortunately, there is a bit of controversy here.  According to the daycare's website, the company is insured, bonded and certified. However, the city health office says they have no record or approval to operate a doggy day care out of the home.

Regardless of license or approval by the city, we all know the love we have for our pets and see the obvious emotion from Tom.

"I sleep with the dogs, I sleep with my wife and my child and the dogs, because I love them."

Three firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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