A view of a fire engine in the city fire headquarters building in Scranton, Pennsylvania July 11, 2012. Firefighters, police officers and public works employees in Scranton, Pennsylvania sued the city on Tuesday after the mayor slashed pay for the city's workers to the state's minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Scranton, a city of about 76,000 in the northeast of the state, is the latest U.S. city in financial turmoil amid sunken revenue collections, lowered state aid and increased pension and other costs. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

It’s a sad day for pet lovers. Nearly 40 dogs and cats, as well as a racoon and macaw, died in a house fire Wednesday morning in Merritt Island, Florida. Two humans were in the house, but they escaped the fire without any injuries.

Thirteen pets survived the fire. The fire broke out around 3 a.m., and although the cause was not immediately known, authorities said the flame was likely sparked in a bedroom, according to Florida Today. Officials from the fire department said the blaze was difficult to put out -- despite its small size -- because of boarded-up windows and locked doors.

The Red Cross arrived to help the residents, and the local animal control came to assist with the surviving pets. Officials have not released any other details about the fire.

It’s illegal to have over four adult dogs in Brevard County, according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

The United States Fire Administration estimates that 500,000 pets are affected by fires each year. To protect their animals, homeowners should practice their fire evacuation plan with their pets. When an emergency hits, the residents will be prepared.

The Red Cross suggests these tips for making sure that your pet doesn’t unintentionally start a fire:

  • Make sure you extinguish any open flames, especially when you’re not around. If you need to leave the flame burning, keep your pet in a different room.
  • Remove stove knobs -- stove knobs are the number one way pets start fires.
  • If you enjoy your candles and don’t want to give them up, consider buying flameless candles instead
  • Young pets should be kept secured when you leave your home. You might put them in a crate, or lock them in a secure area with a baby gate

You can also follow some guidelines to help firefighers rescue your pets. For instance, when you're out, leave your pet near an entrance. If a blaze breaks out, firefighters can easily find them. Or write down the number of animals in your home on a pet alert window cling, and attach it to your front window.