When tragedy hits, often times, heroes stand out.

"Everyone was very brave," said Duane McQueen, an employee at the Little Ponderosa Zoo in Clinton.

Fear aside, when the zoo's main barn caught fire on Monday, employees decided to run toward the danger.

"I wasn't paying any attention to the fire at that point. All I could think was you know, what can I get next? What can I get to?" said Cade Cox, the zoo founder's son.

To Cox, the zoo's animals are family.

"Whatever we could carry or drag we got it out, and when it got to the point that we couldn't breathe, I made sure everybody was out. After that I ran behind the barn. I knew we had some ponies. I started cutting gates and pushing them over," Cox said.

MORE: Little Ponderosa Zoo needs donations after fire

He saved dozens of animals including Charlie, the camel.

"I wish I could have saved more, but yeah," Cox said.

Many animals were lost in the fire, including a tortoise more than 120-years-old.

"I was in shock trying to move out as many animals as I could but watching him with no fear it led me too," said Duane McQueen, who was following Cox's lead.

"As soon as I made it out the back the roof fell so I hoped he made it out the front. That's when I started throwing goats, I just figured that's what anyone would do, as many as I could until the rest of them were on fire," McQueen said.

Right by his side was Charlie, a great Pyrenees dog, who is also being called a hero.

"I could see the fear in his eyes but he was injured from staying so close to me," McQueen said.

Both McQueen and Cox are now focusing on the future, the animals they did save and rebuilding what was lost.

"After everything that happened this is very good for me to see," McQueen said about the support and donations pouring in.

While the loss is great, their support and love for animals is greater.

"I've always been more fond of animals than I am people. It's a tough situation, but I know we will bounce back and pull through it," Cox said.