Miami, FL firefighters rescued kittens trapped in a burning building on Sunday, reviving one of the two surviving kitties with a pet oxygen mask at the scene.
A crew from Miami Fire Rescue Station #9 responded to a house fire at a boarded up home 529 N.W. 56th Street at 5 pm on Sunday and found three kittens trapped inside when they entered the smoke-filled home checking for victims.
Neighbors, who at first thought the smoke spreading through the neighborhood was coming from someone’s barbeque or burning trash, were trying to contain the fire with garden hoses when the fire crew arrived. The crew entered the home to look for anyone trapped inside after removing plywood from the windows and doors.
Of the three kittens, one was in pretty good shape, one was in distress and required treatment at the scene, and the third succumbed to the effects of smoke inhalation and died.
“Firefighters rushed the kittens out and began giving them oxygen,” Miami Fire Rescue Lt. Ignatius Carrol said. “We tried to treat them as quickly as possible, and now we have one that seems to be doing fairly well and one that seems to be still in serious condition.”
Firefighter Joan Valasek had her first opportnity to use one of the pet oxygen masks that are now stocked on every Miami Fire Rescue truck. “I love animals, so as soon as I saw that cat I said, ‘This was my opportunity to actually save the kittens,'” she said. “I’m super happy that I got that opportunity.”
“I’m gonna take these two kittens home as well, foster them, and hopefully somebody out there wants to take them and adopt them,” Ms. Valasek continued. “That would be awesome.”
Firefighters searched for the Mama cat but did not find her.
The fire department is still investigating the cause of the fire but thinks squatters tinkered with the home’s wiring, and that may be the cause.