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Fire crews said one side of this duplex caught on fire on Jan. 12. (CBC)

A woman and her dog escaped a house fire in the Spryfield area of Halifax Saturday afternoon, but three cats died, according to fire crews.

Platoon Chief Mike Blackburn said his team was called to a duplex on Thornhill Drive around 2:30 p.m.

"On arrival the crews were faced with a heavy smoke condition. They entered the structure and encountered a fire in the basement. The fire was quickly extinguished. We had significant fire to the basement with heat and smoke damage throughout the first, second and third," he said.

Blackburn said the woman made it out of the house unharmed.

He said the fire did not spread to the other side of the duplex.

The fire department is  investigating what caused the fire.