Jay Dyal, Salt Lake City Fire Dept.
Salt Lake City firefighters Richard Carothers (left), Justin Poarch (top right), and John Recald (right) resuscitate two dogs found in a burning house Monday.

There was a dramatic rescue at a house fire in Salt Lake City Monday.

Two dogs, unconscious and barely breathing, were carried out of a burning house by firefighters, said Salt Lake Fire spokesman Scott Freitag.

Paramedics worked on the dogs for about 10 minutes — a 75-pound black Labrador and a brown and white cocker spaniel — and the dogs were breathing on their own by the time they were taken to a local veterinarian. One dog was up and walking.

"I was skeptical. When I first came, neither dog was moving," said firefighter Kyle Lavender, who helped revive the canines. "It's very rewarding (to successfully rescue the animals)."

The fire was reported by several neighbors about 10:20 a.m. The fire started in the basement at 961 S. 900 West, but by the time it was reported, smoke was coming out of the first floor windows, Freitag said.

No people were home at the time. When firefighters entered the residence, they found two dogs on the first floor, one on top of a table and the other under the table, both unconscious.

"Any more seconds and it could have been fatal," Freitag said.

Once outside, paramedics, who receive training for animal rescues and specifically dogs, used specialized equipment such as oxygen masks that fit over the long snouts of dogs to treat the animals. The dogs suffered only smoke inhalation and were not burned.

Eventually, a large group of firefighters gathered around the two animals to lend assistance. Freitag said whether it's a human or an animal, firefighters give each the same amount of attention.

"I don't think there's any firefighter that doesn't love animals," Freitag said. "For some people, their pets are their kids."

"We want to help whoever we can," Lavender said. "It's not every day you have a save. This time two dogs. The next time it could be two people."

The cause of the fire was under investigation Monday. The fire gutted the basement and caused the floor in the first-floor bedroom to collapse, Freitag said. The rest of the house suffered extensive smoke damage.


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