Lincoln, Nebraska firefighters tended to 3 cats at the scene of a house fire today, and a striking series of photos captured the action.
The cats were home alone when fire broke out and were rescued from the house and then treated with pet oxygen masks on the chrome bumper of a fire truck for about 15 minutes.
An animal control officer took the cats to be checked by a vet, and all are said to be ok.
The masks were donated to the fire department recently by Second Chance Pups, a program that pairs shelter dogs with inmates at the Nebraska State Penitentiary.
“We keep a few on each of our apparatus in the event that we run into a situation like we did today,” Lincoln Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Pat Borer said.
“We know how much a pet is part of someone’s family,” said Lincoln Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Tim Linke.
The woman living in the apartment at 1522 D St. in Lincoln left candles burning Thursday night, and the candles are thought to have burned down and started the fire in a pile of magazines.
Good Samaritan Kent Rinne was driving by when he spotted smoke coming from a window and stopped to help. Rinne asked a woman if anyone had called 911 yet and if anyone might be home. He was told the cats might be inside.
Rinne took a garden hose and kicked in the door in an attempt to fight the fire. He told the Journal Star he may have inadvertently fueled the fire by giving it oxygen when he opened the door.
Firefighters arrived moments later and had the fire out in nine minutes, but there was considerable damage to the apartment and its contents.