Two police officers dashed into a burning Victorian house and rescued 12 homeless people, including a pregnant woman, who were sleeping inside.

"If they hadn't gotten them out, those people would have been in big trouble," Fire Department Battalion Chief Tom Curry said, noting flames were raging through the three-story home.Officers Greg Staats and Craig McLaren were driving west of downtown about 1 a.m. Sunday when they saw flames shooting through the roof of the abandoned Victorian home, police Sgt. Rick Wall said.

The home had been the site of a fire two months ago, and officers knew homeless people often slept in the damaged building, Wall said.

After summoning the fire department, the officers pounded on the front door and yelled for anyone inside to get out, Wall said.

"They heard noises indicating someone was inside and they forced the front door open," Wall said. "They found two women just inside the front door frantically trying to open it to get out."

As the women fled, they told the officers that other homeless people were still asleep inside the burning building, Wall said.