Firefighters use pet oxygen mask to save dog caught in house fire

A dog caught in a Coquitlam house fire is still fighting for its life after it was taken to an animal hospital in a BC Ambulance on Wednesday morning.

Firefighters were called to the home on Craigen Avenue around 1 a.m.

The homeowner managed to make it out safely with one dog, but the family’s Shih Tzu was still inside.

Firefighters were able to find the dog and used their special pet emergency kit to save it. The ambulance was at the fire scene, on standby as required, and took the dog a short distance to the vet.

No humans were hurt and the cause is still under investigation.

Coquitlam’s Mayor Richard Stewart lives down the street and saw the dog being rescued.

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“It was quite an experience to be able to watch both firefighters and paramedics both working that diligently in order to save an animal,” he said. “I was quite touched by that moment. It was quite important.”

Coquitlam Assistant Fire Chief Gary Mulligan says the department first purchased a pet emergency kit about 12 years ago for their rescue truck. Last year they purchased a second rescue truck and he managed to find a second pet kit in Alberta to purchase.

He says in the last few years they have used the oxygen masks on dogs, cats and birds.

“We’re now looking into what other medical devices are out there for pets,” says Mulligan, adding this Shih Tzu was very weak when they pulled it out and needed extra oxygen.

“Pets are important members of the family,” he adds. “When we rescue people the first thing they always ask when they get out is about their pets.”

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