Pennsylvania Owner Angry after Pets' Rescue Delayed

"Everybody I saw, I kept asking can you please, please go get my dogs. Can somebody please go up and get my dogs," Krista Johnson said.


PHILADELPHIA --

Fire reports showed it was a lamp placed too close to combustible materials that caused a fire at a Center City frat house Friday.

But Tuesday, a young woman who lived next door wants an answer as to why it took firefighters so long to go in after her pets.

"Everybody I saw, I kept asking can you please, please go get my dogs. Can somebody please go up and get my dogs," Krista Johnson said.

Johnson said she was frantic. She said she was pleading with Philadelphia firefighters to save her three pets as the building next to her apartment on the 1000 block of Spruce Street went up in flames.

"Everyone just kept telling me, 'they'll be fine, animals can survive this stuff,'" Johnson said.

Johnson was at work when the fire broke about 9 p.m. Friday.

Her building was not on fire, but was being evacuated. She said she rushed home knowing her beloved golden retriever, Lucy, her boxer, Lennox, and her cat, Donovan, were still inside her second-floor apartment.

"I totally understand the need to protect people over animals," Johnson said.

But what the young nursing student said she doesn't understand is why after the fire was brought under control just before 11 p.m., her animals weren't rescued for another two and half hours.

"It makes me so angry because five hours they sat up there, five hours. That first hour and a half my building was open, the power was on and guys were going in and out laying fire hoses," she said.

Johnson said at 1:30 a.m. Saturday her two dogs were finally brought out.

"I ran across the line and just took Lucy the golden, from the firefighter and started screaming and yelling somebody help me," Johnson said.

Lucy and Lennox were rushed to the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital but were so critically injured from the smoke, they had to be put down. The 8-month-old kitten didn't make it out.

"They had been suffering for hours already," Johnson said.

Six firefighters did suffer minor injuries in the fire and everyone else got out OK.

NBC 10 contacted the Philadelphia fire department.

Officials said they are looking into Johnson's complaint.

Johnson said she would like to see a policy put in place that after a scene is safe and secure, that family pets are rescued in a reasonable amount of time.

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