HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A woman from Highland Township was rescued from her burning home after she refused to leave while trying to save her exotic animals, birds, ferrets, and other pets.

Deputies pulled the 41-year-old woman through a small basement window, the Oakland County sheriff’s office said.

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The fire was reported shortly before midnight Wednesday about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. It likely started when one of the family’s dogs knocked over a heater near a bed of straw in the garage, according to the sheriff’s office.

The deputies saved the woman’s life, Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a release.

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“The fire was spreading rapidly throughout the garage and the living area of this home,” Bouchard said. “Deputies quickly assessed the situation, found a safe way from the home, and pulled her to safety, despite her reluctance to leave.”

The woman and three other residents of the home were treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation. A pig and three dogs also were saved.

The woman told authorities that the animals she kept were worth about $10,000.

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