Efforts by firefighters, B.C. Ambulance paramedics and Petroglyph Animal Hospital veterinary staff have paid off for two dogs and a cat, rescued by Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters from a fire in a residence in south Nanaimo.
The animals were trapped inside a home in the 1000 block of Old Victoria Road when fire broke out in a downstairs kitchen and filled the house with toxic smoke Tuesday.
One cat managed to escape on its own, according to firefighters on the scene, but the other pets had to be searched for by firefighters and carried out of the building. One of the two dogs had to be resuscitated.
“It wasn’t looking very good for the one dog, but we managed to get him back,” said Karen Fry, Nanaimo Fire Rescue chief, at the scene.
Firefighters and B.C. Ambulance paramedics began working to revive the pets as other firefighters ran to nearby Petroglyph Animal Hospital to fetch help from veterinary staff, who responded and helped stabilize the animals before taking them to the veterinary hospital for further treatment.
On Wednesday the veterinary hospital reported the animals were with their owner and expected to make a full recovery.
“They’re actually doing really well,” said Jessica Lapp, registered veterinary technician. “They’ve all been able to go home with their owners now and we followed up with them this morning and they’re still doing a strong recovery.”
Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire trucks are now equipped with oxygen masks designed to fit over the muzzles of small animals in medical distress to more effectively deliver oxygen.
“The firefighters told me the masks were quite effective,” Fry said.
Emergency crews and Petroglyph Animal Hospital veterinary staff worked together at the scene to stabilize the dogs for nearly 20 minutes before they could be moved to the veterinary clinic.
“It’s not our typical work place, that’s for sure,” Lapp said.