There are those who would not do anything because "they are just dogs" there are those who would do everything "because they are dogs"...
From Foster's Daily Democrat newspaper in New Hampshire...
April 12--ROCHESTER -- A mother and her baby lost all of their belongings in a fire on King Street Wednesday, but two dogs were saved thanks to off-duty firefighters who happened to be in the area when the fire broke out.
City firefighter Beth Blake and her boyfriend Dan Mathew, a Massachusetts firefighter, were on their way to the post office around noontime on Wednesday, when they noticed smoke coming from King Street. At first, the couple thought someone was burning brush, but then realized an upstairs apartment at 6 King St. was on fire.
After calling 911, Blake and Mathew began searching for residents who might still be in the building.
"There were cars in the driveway, we weren't sure if someone might be home," said Blake.
As the smoke was getting thick throughout the building and it was difficult to see, Blake and Mathew were breaking into the four apartments in the building, crawling a few feet in, and yelling out to see if anyone needed help, said Blake.
While no people were located in the building, Mathew found two dogs in the upstairs apartment where the fire originated.
"They weren't looking very good, neither one of them was conscious," said Blake.
While still waiting for the fire engines to arrive, Mathew dragged the dogs out to the upstairs porch, and Blake carried the dogs downstairs onto the lawn.
The dogs, said Blake, were seizing and unconscious, and the bigger dog, later identified as Cypress, was in especially poor condition. Blake said she opened the dog's mouth and blew into it as a way of administering CPR, and smoke had come out of the dog's mouth.
During the CPR procedure, "I was a little big afraid he was going to bite my face," said Blake.
After the arrival of a fire engine, Blake had access to an oxygen mask made especially for dogs to accommodate for their snouts. Some time later, both dogs were taken to Animal Health Center by others who were in the area.
"Hopefully the dogs will be OK," said Blake on Thursday. "I love dogs. It was just lucky we happened to be in the area. I know how important dogs are. They're like family members to people."
According to Fire Marshal Dominick Bellio, another off-duty Rochester firefighter, who works on on-call basis, was near the police station when he saw the smoke coming from King Street. That firefighter reported the incident at about the same time as Blake and Mathew, he said. When the Fire Department arrived to King Street with fire engines, Blake and Mathew, as well as the on-call firefighter, were on scene.
At the Animal Health Center, a veterinary team led by Dr. Cindy Hoisington was able to stabilize Cypress, before the two dogs were transported to Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Center in Newington.
Jossalyn Martins, veterinary technician at Animal Health Center, said a group of good Samaritans, whose identities are not currently known, rushed the two dogs to the center on Wednesday afternoon, and one woman offered to drive the dogs to the Newington emergency center, which is equipped to handle severe cases of smoke inhalation.
"They were willing to put money on their credit card" for the dogs to get treatment, said Martins.
For Martins, who has never previously worked with animals exposed to smoke inhalation, trying to save the dogs was overwhelming, but she said her team worked diligently to get the dogs' treatment started.
"As soon as an emergency happens we kick into overdrive," said Martins. "It was chaotic and overwhelming but ultimately I feel like everyone worked so hard.'
She said that thinking about the good Samaritans saving the dogs from the burning apartment, and rushing them to the Animal Health Center, makes her want to cry.
"I put myself in these peoples' shoes and it breaks my heart," said Martins, who just got a puppy a week ago.
According to Martins, Toby is recovering very well, and Cypress is expected to stay at the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Center for a few more days.
Martins said the owner of the dogs is now facing large bills to pay for the animals' care, and a donation drive has been started to help the family pay for those costs.
By Thursday, the bill for the dogs' care was reportedly $3,100, said Martins.
Those wishing to make donations toward the dogs' treatment are encouraged to call the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Center at 431-3600 and reference the Rochester smoke inhalation dogs.
According to Bellio, the mother and baby who lived at the apartment that caught fire had left home for a dentist appointment about an hour before the fire started. The two-alarm fire caused substantial damage throughout the apartment, causing the windows to melt and the walls to be completely charred. Bellio said the family had no renter's insurance.
"Everything that she owned, all her belongings for her and her baby, were destroyed," said Bellio.
He said Red Cross is now providing temporary housing for the mother and baby.
The two apartments on the bottom floor of the building also sustained considerable damage in the fire.
According to Bellio, the ceiling of the first-floor apartments had collapsed due to significant water damage, causing wallboard to fall on top of the residents' belongings, which were soaked with water by the time firefighters brought the fire under control.
The residents of the two first-floor apartments, a man and a woman each living by themselves, are currently staying with either family or acquaintances, as their residences are not considered habitable, said Bellio. The tenants on the first floor also had no renter's insurance, he said.
According to Bellio, the only unit that is considered livable after the blaze is the two-story apartment at the front of the building that had very little smoke or water damage.
Bellio said the investigation into the fire is complete, and the cause is undetermined. The blaze, he said, started in the living room at the upstairs apartment, near the back of the building.
"We certainly don't feel it was a suspicious fire, but the exact cause is undetermined," he said.
Copyright 2013 - Foster's Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H.
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04-12-2013, 09:45 AM #1
Man's best friend indeed...."The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
04-12-2013, 09:37 PM #2
- Join Date
- Apr 2003
- Bay City, MI
A couple of fatal fires I have worked, the fatalities were because people went back in for pets. Most fires where the people have pets, that is their number one concern. Pets are that important to people. I, for one, do all I can to locate and save pets if they are involved.
04-14-2013, 02:42 AM #3
My personal motto for when I'm a firefighter is that everyone comes out, human and nonhuman.
Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.
04-14-2013, 03:47 PM #4
Two paws up!"Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.Ē
--General James Mattis, USMC
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