Firefighters rescued two cats, Snowball and Pudge, from a smoky West Tampa house and doused the fire within about 20 minutes, authorities said Wednesday.
Shortly after noon, Tampa Fire Rescue sent units to a fire at 3219 W St. John St. Crews saw smoke and flames toward the back of the house.
As crews fought the fire, they located the two cats trapped in the house — Pudge, a Siamese, and Snowball, a white mixed breed.
Firefighters said that a tenant, Nicholas Purpura, 22, had heard pops and saw a storage room attached to the house on fire.
He alerted the other tenants, Matthew Jaspers, 25, and Ben Parry, 22.
Jaspers grabbed his chihuahua named Murloc, while Parry rescued a Great Dane named Apollo, Fire Rescue said.
But neither knew the whereabouts of the cats, which belonged to Parry.
Capt. Susan Truitt and firefighter Nicholas Rode were able to locate the cats.
Investigators determined that the fire started from an electrical short in the storage room.
Fire crews saved about half the house, but damage was estimated at about $70,000.