CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. — Three dogs were rescued by firefighters from a burning home in Catawba County.
Heavy smoke and flames were coming out several windows in the house along Acorn Village Drive when firefighters got there Wednesday morning.
Investigators said it began accidentally near an electric space heater.
Firefighters said when they got to the home, the smoke was so thick they could only see a few inches in front of their faces. The family inside the home got out safely, but their three dogs were inside.
Faherty could see firefighters working to get the family’s three dogs, Aiden, Jacob and Fluffy, out of the home.
For about 20 minutes, first responders worked on Fluffy, who was found in a bedroom of the home. At one point, firefighters began giving the dog oxygen to help him breathe. He was soon reunited with his family and the other dogs.
Daisy Estela said she and her mother woke to the fire and had very little time to get out. She remembered seeing flames around the family’s electric space heater.
“I was really happy because I was scared they were going to die in there and I’m happy they got them out,” she said.
Mike Cates with St. Stephens Fire was one of the first firefighters to arrive. He said the smoke was so thick, they used a thermal imaging camera to locate the dogs.
“There was zero visibility,” he said. “You had to feel around and search and using a thermal imaging camera.”
The family lost much of what they owned in the fire, but the Red Cross has been contacted to help them out.
The firefighters said they’re thankful they reached the dogs in time.
“It’s just a good feeling in a bad situation,” Cates said. “Try to make the best out of a bad thing for these people.”
Estela said she’ll never forget what the firefighters did to help her family.
“Thank you for taking my dogs out because they mean so much to me,” she said.
Faherty spotted firefighters and EMS returning to bring clothing for the family and other items to help their dogs. Family members who live nearby are also helping out.
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