Quick action by firefighters save 2 dogs in Forest Grove

Quick action by firefighters save 2 dogs in Forest Grove
Lt. Tony Carter, left, and firefighter Cassie Knierim provide care to two injured dogs Wednesday found inside a burning home in Forest Grove. (Photo: Forest Grove Fire & Rescue)

FOREST GROVE, Ore. (AP) — Two dogs weren't breathing when they were pulled from a house fire in Forest Grove, but they were recovering Wednesday night thanks to some quick medical attention from firefighters.

A Forest Grove Fire and Rescue crew was dispatched to a home Wednesday afternoon on Cedar Street in "Old Town" and arrived to find smoke and flames coming from a bedroom window, and heavy smoke coming from the roof. The resident was outside and safe, but she told them her two pets were somewhere inside.

Lt. Tony Carter found the mutts unresponsive in an upstairs bedroom and brought them outside while others fought the first-floor fire, department spokesman David Nemeyer said.

Carter removed his own air pack and put it on the animals while someone else brought an oxygen tank. The firefighters used human-style masks and held them up to the animals' snouts, setting the air flow on high. Before long, the dogs started to revive.

"I've been doing this 13 years, and every dog I've seen pulled from a house fire has not survived, so even to have them tracking us with their eyes was pretty amazing," Nemeyer said.

The animals were been transported first to a local veterinary clinic, and then to one in Hillsboro capable of providing 24-hour care. One seemed to be recovering faster than the other and was whining and crying a little, but it's not clear whether both will make full recoveries, Nemeyer said.

Investigators believe the fire started in overloaded extension cords and power strips in the bedroom. The homeowner was outside doing yard work at the time of the fire, and was notified by a passerby that smoke was coming from her bedroom window. Damage was estimated at up to $60,000.

The firefighters didn't perform CPR on the dogs because they didn't know how. But Nemeyer says the department now plans to have a woman from a vet clinic come in a give a pet CPR class.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.