The only two surviving pit bulls were collared and carried away to a safe warm place.
But a dozen other dogs were left in the charred remains of a garage that nearly burned to the ground with the dogs trapped inside.
"Unfortunately it was fully involved and they were not able to make access at that time," said Raymond Maguire, of the Freeport Fire Department.
Freeport firefighters rushed to the 100 block of Hillside Avenue around 2 p.m. while flames were already swallowing the garage.
After firefighters extinguished the fire, they discovered 12 dead pit bulls.
"I think it's unbelievable," said Orlando Howard, a tenant.
Orlando Howard is one of four tenants who live at the house.
He says the dogs' owner tried to help save the animals.
"He actually got a couple of minor burns and injuries and left the scene. I have not heard anything else from him," Howard said.
Neither have the police. Investigators say he's MIA.
They have questions; mainly what was he doing with 14 pit bulls.
"I definitely don't know what he was doing with them because there's no fighting going on at this house," Howard said.
The longer the owner stays away, the more it makes investigators wonder what really happened there.
But for now, it's a fire with no known cause, and a fire that left a dozen dogs dead.