The fire started in a rear storage shed connected to the Puppy Love pet store in Danbury.
As the store filled with smoke, firefighters rescued the puppies with help from nearby restaurant workers and bystanders.
The managers of a bar and a pizzeria on either side were among the first to break down the door to get to the puppies.
They formed a human chain to rush the puppies to safety, wheeling them out in crates secured to pallets.
"It was a miracle," veterinarian Jeffery Hubshur said. "All the puppies were out on the street, every one of them safe. Amazing. It gives you faith in people. What a place Danbury is."
Dozens of people stopped to help.
"All the restaurants emptied, people worked together to save these dogs," Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said. "It was an amazing sight to see."
The dogs, 86 of them in total, are being kept at a vacant store nearby.
The pet shop owner is hoping to reopen this weekend.
The store had just received a new batch of puppies that morning.
None of the animals was hurt.
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