Firefighters in Santa Monica, California, made an unusual save while battling a fire at an apartment complex on March 22 (video below).
Residents of the single-story apartment building made it out to the street unharmed, but a woman noted that her dog remained in the building, reports KTLA. Firefighters cut a hole in the roof of the building to allow heat and smoke to escape as they battled the blaze, and ran a sweep through the building to check for any other tenants. Instead, they found a small dog, which was unconscious from the heat and smoke of the fire.
The firefighters brought the dog out of the building and strapped a special pet oxygen mask on the animal, which was not breathing and without a pulse. After about 20 minutes of oxygen, chest compressions and the occasional mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, the dog began to breathe on its own and started to walk around. It was then taken to a local animal hospital for further examination.
A local photographer captured the moment with photos and videos.
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"This brave firemen named Andrew Klein from Santa Monica Fire Department went in for the rescue and gave the pet a CPR and took care of her back to life,” wrote the photographer Billy Fernando on Facebook. "Faith in humanity restored."
The 23 firefighters were able to put out the fire in a matter of minutes, and no people were injured, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press. The Santa Monica Fire Department believes the fire started in the kitchen and storage room of one unit, and efforts from firefighters were able to contain the blaze before it spread to other units. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Typical response times for Los Angeles city firefighters averaged slightly more than 6 minutes and 30 seconds in 2014, longer than in previous years, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Santa Monica Fire Department, which is separate from LAFD and incorporated by the city of Santa Monica, responded to the call March 22 in 4 minutes and 45 seconds, according to the Santa Monica Daily Press.
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All Santa Monica fire engines carry the special pet oxygen masks with them.
Response times in Los Angeles can vary widely, usually based on the location of the call and ease of access. Times were reportedly higher in the Santa Monica mountains and other canyon areas.
"It depends where you are," veteran firefighter Steve Tufts told the Los Angeles Times. "When we're not there in three minutes, there's a reason for it. It's no fault of the firemen. It's the distance from the station. Or they are out on another call."
The city of Santa Monica is an 8.4-square-mile area along the Los Angeles County coastline with approximately 92,000 residents. The Santa Monica Fire Department has four stations within the city.