Austin Firefighters Save Cat from House Fire

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Photo credit: Captain Mike Geraty, Austin Fire Department


The Austin, Texas Fire Department shared the photo above at Facebook today, saying: “Here’s a photo to go along with the great “cat save” story from last night. An apartment fire off Jollyville Road affected eight units and one person was transported to the hospital. The cause? An unattended candle. Firefighter Zach King found an unresponsive cat and went to work on it with one of our oxygen pet masks. We’re happy to tell you the cat went to the vet shortly thereafter and should be just fine. ”

KEYE TV spoke with firefighters for a story on the fire and the rescue.

One woman from the eight unit apartment building was treated, along with her dog and cat. The dog recovered quickly, but the cat was unresponsive due to smoke inhalation before being revived with one of the crew’s four pet oxygen masks.

“When we go in we look for people first,” said Austin Fire Department Lt. Eddie Martinez with the Austin Fire Department, adding that firefighters will next look for and rescue pets.  “We don’t pass an animal. We do grab an animal and bring it out,” said Lt. Martinez, who told the news crew that firefighters have done mouth to mouth resuscitation of dogs several times during his 19 years with the department.

Firefighter Zach King gave the cat oxygen with one of the masks donated to the department by Pets America, which are now standard equipment on all of the Austin’s frontline fire engines.

Battalion Chief Palmer Buck said:  “A lot of times we find these pets listless, unresponsive. Throw the oxygen on them for a while and they come back around.” Buck says the equipment gets a lot of use, more than residents may think.

The cat was taken to the vet and is expected to make a full recovery.

You can read the full story and watch the KEYE video report HERE.

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