Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sparky Is Being Blamed For A Fire In Virginia Firefighter's Home

The following story just ran on News Channel 9 in the Washington DC Metro area.
A couple reasons why we are posting it. There are lessons to be learned.

Please watch the full video

Pet oxygen masks do save pet lives.
Fairfax County Fire Department carries these nifty kits. The written article is here below.
Never leave ANYTHING on the stove when you leave. Whether the stove is on or off. Regardless of what you leave on the stove, it will burn eventually and spread to the rest of the house. Even if you leave an empty pan, it takes 1 bump by a dog or human hip to turn a knob on. If you have a gas fire stove that bump can lead to a gas leak if just bumped enough to release gas. 1 spark and its all gone.

The best attitude is to maintain a "no pet access to kitchen" policy while gone + leaving nothing on any stove of any kind. These pups got lucky. The department carried the right gear and got there on time. Does your department carry pet oxygen masks? Sponsor your department today

FRANCONIA, Va. (WUSA) -- Glenn Ross was about to sit down to dinner at Alexandria Fire Department Station 206 Tuesday evening when he heard a familiar address come across the radio. Other Alexandria and Fairfax County stations were dispatched to a report of a house fire at the firefighter's Franconia home.
There were lots of thoughts going through the mind of Glenn Ross, the most important being that he had to get home. Battalion Chief Joe Hoffmaster decided the safest way to get him there was aboard Engine 206.
Discovering that his wife was at not home, Firefighter Ross then thought about his two dogs who spend the day in the kitchen. When he pulled up, Sparky and Brownie were on a neighbor's lawn, unconscious. They were wearing pet oxygen masks and being treated by Fairfax County paramedics. Firefighters found the dogs under a table in the burning kitchen.
The kitchen is gutted and the Ross home has significant smoke and water damage.
Investigators believe the fire started because of a box left on the stove top ignited. What was in that container leaves a big clue into the leading theory of how this blaze began. It was a box of dog biscuits.
Glenn Ross believes that one of the dogs, most likely Sparky, jumped up trying to get the treats and accidentally turned on a burner.
Dr. Katy Nelson at Alexandria Animal Hospital and Veterinary Emergency Service is treating both Brownie and Sparky for smoke inhalation and corneal burns. Dr. Nelson says both dogs are recovering nicely.
Dr. Nelson agrees with Firefighter Ross. In her professional opinion, the fire starter is clearly the always hungry Sparky, a beagle.
Ross says the hero of the day is a five-year-old neighbor who saw smoke coming from the home while playing outside. The boy ran in to get his grandparents who called 9-1-1. The early call apparently meant the difference between life and death for Sparky and Brownie.
Ross says the lesson learned is one that is basic in his business: Never leave anything combustible on or near the stove.
Written by Dave Statter

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