By Melissa Garcia

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A family of four people escaped a raging house fire that broke out as they slept early Sunday morning but two of their dogs died.

West Metro Fire Rescue rushed to the home on South Quail Way just as the fire started to spread to neighboring houses.

(credit: Birdi Blue)

The home, near Littleton, is located not far from the major intersection of Bowles and Simms.

The house where the fire started is a total loss. Firefighters’ quick actions, however, saved surrounding homes from destruction.

Crews were called to the fire at 3:39am, and arrived to find the home fully engulfed with flames shooting 20-feet above the roof.

(credit: Twitter/West Metro Fire Rescue)

Lucille Chacon, who lives across the street, awoke in a panic.

“I saw like orange in the sky,” she said. “And I thought, well the sun doesn’t come out through there.”

Her husband Tom said his first thought was to make sure the husband, wife, and their two young sons who live inside the burning home had made it out safely.

“They’re nice people,” he said.

Neighbors watched as the house burned beyond repair just weeks after its homeowners had finished remodeling.

(credit: Birdi Blue)

Tony Wilkins, Assistant Chief with West Metro Fire Rescue, said the 31 firefighters on scene had the blaze under control in about 15 minutes.

“The crews did a heck of a job getting those lines pulled quickly, getting water flowing, getting the fire extinguished,” Wilkins told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

(credit: Twitter/West Metro Fire Rescue)

While the fire’s cause was still unknown, investigators believe the blaze started on the back deck, leaving the entire rear of the home charred.

One firefighter suffered injuries. The family’s two dogs may have suffered worse.

“Unfortunately they’re still missing, and we are not sure if they escaped. I’m afraid that they didn’t. But because the structure is so unstable, we haven’t been able to go in there and get a little piece of mind for the homeowners,” Wilkins said.

(credit: CBS4)

Worried neighbors watered down lawns with hoses in an effort to keep flying embers from sparking up other structures.

“It could have been worse but thank God, it wasn’t,” Lucille said. “So we have a lot to be thankful for.”

The displaced family was staying with nearby relatives for the time being, firefighters said.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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