Firefighters rescue puppy from burning homePublished 3:46pm Thursday, August 30, 2012
Bobby and Kathy Helms’ 5-month-old puppy, Abigail, was unconscious when firefighters carried her out of a smoldering home on the west side of Niles Thursday.
Niles City Fire Chief Larry Lamb placed the puppy on the grass in front of the home and waited for another firefighter to bring him a special animal respirator. Lamb placed the respirator over Abigail’s head and began pumping clean air into her bloodstream.
About 30 seconds later, Abigail regained consciousness. Neighbors watching the scene clapped and cheered when they saw the puppy moving.
“We’ve had a lot of these animals we’ve brought out that we haven’t been able to save, but we were able to save this one. We were lucky,” said Lamb, explaining the animal respirator played a large role in saving Abigail. It was recently donated to the fire department by First Presbyterian Church Youth Ministry.
“In the past, we’d have let it (the dog) lay there and use a regular oxygen mask,” he said. “It (animal respirator) allows us to force air so we are able to breathe for the puppy. After the oxygen got everything out of the blood, the puppy came back.”
Around noon, firefighters responded to a call of smoke coming from the basement of a home in the 500 block of South Lincoln Avenue. Lamb said firefighters from Niles City and Niles Township quickly knocked out the fire, which began in the basement, and searched the house for a dog reportedly inside.
Lamb said they found Abigail breathing, but unconscious in a cage on the first floor.
“It was close to perishing and, just because we were able to get oxygen into it quick enough, we were able to bring the puppy back,” he said.
Homeowner Bobby Helms arrived shortly after firefighters put out the fire and rescued Abigail.
“I’m just glad they were able to save my dog and my house,” he said.
The Helms were not home at the time of the fire.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.