When an Illinois home populated by several pets was set ablaze, firefighters responding on the scene went above and beyond the call of duty to save the trapped animals. In a heroic rescue, they were able to resuscitate a large dog who had passed out from the fumes (video below).
In March 2015, a two-story house caught fire in Oak Park, Illinois. The owners were out of state at the time, rendering their large collection of pets helpless to escape. The Oak Park Fire Department arrived on the scene and got to work, Oak Park reports.
After the fire was extinguished, several firefighters entered the house to root around for survivors while another carried a 100-pound mastiff named Romulus out onto the sidewalk. Laying the incapacitated pooch down, the firefighter readied an oxygen tank and pressed the mask to his muzzle.
When Romulus came to, the firefighter gave him a reassuring pat. Fellow firefighters draped a blanket around the mastiff while his rescuer tenderly rubbed his body. The firefighters lifted Romulus up and placed him into the trunk of a car to be transported and receive further medical attention. After they loaded the dog into the trunk, the entire squad gathered around him to make sure he was okay, according to Shareably.
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Authorities at the scene declined to speculate what caused the fire, as the incident was still under investigation at the time.
In addition to Romulus, the firefighters rescued a hedgehog, as well as a handful of turtles and fish from the burning home. Sadly, two kittens had perished in the fire after succumbing to smoke inhalation.
Oak Park Deputy Fire Chief Peter Pilafas disclosed that Romulus had been saved on the scene by an oxygen tank customized for pets that had been donated to the department by a local animal care group.
Lori Yoder, a resident in the neighborhood, witnessed the touching rescue firsthand.
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"It was amazing -- I've never seen that before," she said.
Sympathetic neighbors took in the other surviving pets as they awaited their owners to return home from out of state. Romulus was cared for by a local veterinarian.
The Oak Park Fire Department continues to do great work to ensure the safety of their community. On April 6, they launched a new initiative to spread fire safety awareness, in addition to purchasing and implementing fire detectors in local households, the Chicago Tribune reports.