BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Officials say a couple safely escaped a house fire in Joppa Saturday, but their two cats died.

Nearly 50 firefighters responded to the one-story home in the 400 block of Timber Lane around 6:45 a.m. The man and woman were in bed at the time and awoke to smoke alarms, according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal.

Upon checking the home, they found a fire in the basement. Both attempted to put out the fire with a portable fire extinguisher and an all-purpose baking flour but were unable to extinguish the flames. The fire quickly spread beyond their control and both were able to escape, but, their two cats died.

Fire crews from multiple departments were called to the scene. The fire was under control by 8:15 a.m.

The house and its contents are considered a total loss, according to the fire marshal, and total damage is estimated at $500,000.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Friends and the Red Cross are assisting the displaced couple.

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