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Fort Worth firefighters revive dog at burning house using CPR and oxygen

01/03/2013 10:04 PM

01/03/2013 11:46 PM

FORT WORTH -- Using CPR and oxygen, firefighters worked for about 30 minutes Thursday to revive a dog they rescued from a burning house in east Fort Worth.

The fire started about 1:30 p.m. in a single-story house at the intersection of South Beach Street and East Vickery Boulevard.

Firefighters with a ladder truck were already in the neighborhood when they saw smoke, said Engineer Tim Hardeman, fire department spokesman.

"The driver said he noticed a haze, and they drove right up to it," Hardeman said.

Neighbors were calling 911 about the same time.

Fourteen other fire crews responded as a north wind and clutter inside the house hampered the fight to douse the fire, Hardeman said.

Flames reached the attic, he said, but firefighters knocked them down and brought the blaze under control.

The cause of the fire had not been determined by Thursday evening. The house was heavily damaged, but an official estimate was not available.

A neighbor told firefighters that an elderly man lived in the home with two dogs.

The man was not inside, but firefighters found two large dogs, Hardeman said.

"One was OK," he said, "but the other was unresponsive."

Firefighters got busy giving the dog CPR and oxygen from a special animal mask.

The dog was revived, Hardeman said, but firefighters urged the owner to take it to a veterinarian. Dogs that inhale smoke can later develop fluid in their lungs, which can be fatal.

The fire department doesn't keep statistics on how many animals it tries to save each year, but it happens several times each year, Hardeman said.

"Of course, saving human life is the priority, but if we can offer assistance, medically, to an animal, we're going to do what we can," he said.

Bill Miller, 817-390-7684

Twitter: @Bill_MillerST

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