ST. PAUL, Minn. - Ask anyone who saves lives for a living, and they'll tell you having the right tools on hand is essential to get the job done.
It sure was proved yesterday in St. Paul, where fire crews put down an apartment fire and saved two family pets in the process.
Engines were dispatched to a multi-unit building at 1174 East 4th after reports of smoke and flames from one of the units. Firefighters went in and put down the flames, then found two cars that had been overcome by smoke. Instead of using oxygen masks designed for humans, they utilized special, smaller ones made to resuscitate pets.
Images shared on the St. Paul Fire Department Twitter page show crews using the little masks on the cats, and later came word that both survived.
The department began using the special pet masks In 2014, when three dozen kits were donated following the death of five dogs in a house fire. St, Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard told the Pioneer Press that firefighters use them a couple of times a year and were able to revive the cats with them Thursday,
“We’re glad that we have firefighters that are equipped and trained to assist not only people, but their pets,” Zaccard told the Pioneer Press. “Pets are important family members as well … people love and grieve over their pets if they lose them.”
On Friday morning the department tweeted that the fire was started by a 5-year-old playing with fire in his bedroom.