When buildings catch fire, humans aren't the only ones affected. Animals are often hurt or even killed by smoke inhalation during house fires. In Pasadena, where 80 percent of households have two or more pets, the risk is significant.
About a year ago the Pasadena Fire Department teamed up with the Pasadena Humane Society/SPCA to provide emergency care to pets that are victims of house fires. Each Pasadena engine company now carries innovative, reusable rescue masks to provide oxygen to injured cats, dogs, birds and other household pets.
The Humane Society donated all training, equipment and maintenance.
The equipment was used most recently on Aug. 8 when there was a house fire on Howard Street. Just before 7 p.m., when firefighters arrived at the scene, they saw smoke coming from the one-story house and made forcible entry. The house was filled with smoke.
Some firefighters extinguished a fire in the kitchen while others did a search to see if anyone was home.
No humans were there but they found three black cats that were unconscious. After getting the cats outside, they began treatment and successfully resuscitated two. Sadly, one did not survive.
Here are a couple of photos of five of Pasadena's finest using the resuscitation equipment in front of the house.
While this was happening, the homeowners arrived and were more distraught about the cats than they were about the house. Insurance can replace a burnt-out kitchen; nothing can replace our furry loved ones.
Our firefighters put themselves in harm's way every day to save human and animal lives, but they rarely get recognized and many of them prefer it that way. If you ask any of them, they'll tell you they're simply doing their job.
If you're ever in the neighborhood of one of our eight fire stations, stop by and say hello and thanks. Visitors are always welcome. If there's nobody there, it's because they're out on a call. The engine companies that responded to the Howard Street fire are from Fire Station #36 (1140 N. Fair Oaks Ave.) and Fire Station #33 (515 N. Lake Ave.).