The Richmond County Fire Department responded to 2343 Walton Way around 8:45 p.m.
Justin Rhye said he was asleep on the second floor when the smoke alarm went off. He said he came out of his room and saw smoke pouring down the third-floor staircase.
Homeowners Jim Cartee and John Adams arrived about 10 minutes after Rhye called 911.
Rhye said he moved the family’s nine dogs and two of the three cats to safety before getting out of the house.
The fire was contained in the attic. Rhye said firefighters told him there was a “decent amount” of water damage.
Fire battalion chief Chris Reid said the fire was caused by an attic exhaust fan that overheated.