80 messenger pigeons die in house fire

PHOENIX — 80 messenger pigeons that were bred in a Phoenix home's backyard have died in a fire.

Firefighters responded early Saturday morning to the blaze that started in the back of one home and spread to a nearby home.

A Phoenix fire department spokesperson said 80 homing pigeons died due to exposure. About 150 pigeons total were at the residence. One of the homeowners is a messenger bird association member.

The homes' residents and four dogs escaped unharmed. Officials say 10 people have been displaced.

It's unknown how the fire started.

Homing pigeons are selectively bred for their ability to find their way home over very long distances.