Clifton pet sitter regrets fire deaths of at least 10 animals in her care

Laura Kiefer says she went out for a

Laura Kiefer says she went out for a few minutes Tuesday and was only able to save two dogs when she returned and found the house on fire. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

CLIFTON - A woman is mourning the loss of more than a dozen pets she cared for following a fire at her home.

Laura Kiefer says she went out for a few minutes Tuesday and was only able to save two dogs when she returned and found the house on fire. "I wish I could've saved them," she says. "I loved these dogs."

Kiefer says she cared for the pets she baby-sat for as much as her own. The pet sitter and her clients are now dealing with overwhelming heartache.  

"We care about these dogs more than we do our own family," says her husband, Tom Kieffer. "That's why we took care of them. We are dog lovers." 

Edmund Gaetjens lost two dogs in the blaze, but praises Laura Kieffer's efforts to save those she could. "It's heroic. But at this point we are just crushed by the loss of our animals," he says.

When fire officials were able to go inside, they removed the bodies of 10 dogs.  One dog and three cats are still missing.

Investigators have not been able to determine the exact cause of the fire, but say it was accidental. No charges have been filed.

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