There were moments of panic and relief when a nursing pit bull mother and her days-old puppies were rescued from an auto body shop fire in Compton Saturday morning.
Fire crews responded to the blaze in the 200 block of North Bowen Avenue just before 8 a.m. where plumes of black smoke filled the air.
Live wires made popping sounds when they burned on the ground and cars turned to black metal as flames engulfed them.
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It took fire crews nearly an hour to knock down the yard fire.
Firefighters spotted the pups in an enclosed gate and attempted to corral them out of it.
"When there's fire, they usually become docile," said Compton Fire Department Battalion Chief Kenneith Benson. "In this case, they didn't run out of the gate.
The owner of the pit bulls arrived on scene and moved the dogs to a safe area.
At least one of the pups died, Kenneth Benson said.
The pit bull mother and her litter were placed in a kennel by the owner, who stood nearby with a male pit bull.
No other injuries were reported, according to Benson.