ARLINGTON — Arlington firefighters pulled a lifeless dog from a burning house on Sunday morning, and a tireless effort brought the pup back to life.
The fire broke out in the 2200 block of Wyrick Court in north Arlington. The homeowner was out of town, and his father stopped by to feed the dog and cat. He spotted flames inside, called 911, and firefighters went to work.
Arlington Fire Department spokesman Lt. Kevin Seeton said firefighters were advised the dog and cat were inside the home when they arrived. As some rescuers worked to put out the flames, others went in search of the pets.
They found Leah the Border Collie in a bathroom. They rushed her to the front yard.
"She wasn't moving, and she wasn't breathing," Seeton said. Crews used specially-designed masks to deliver an hour's worth of oxygen.
"They went through five bottles of oxygen on her, probably three to four breathing treatments &mdsh; same treatment we administer to humans," Seeton said.
All the while, a battalion chief was recording the rescue on video. It shows firefighters petting Leah and coaxing her back to life. And suddenly...
"She perked up, moved around, and came back to life," Seeton said.
Leah raised her head, then stood up and began walking around. Firefighters began smiling.
Leah gave them needed hope, because they also worked to save the family's cat, but it did not survive.
"I wish it would have turned out for the cat like it did for Leah," Seeton said, adding: "It's a great feeling to see these big burly firefighters, all gathered around, working on a small dog, trying to get it back to life."
Arlington carries three sizes of pet oxygen masks on each battalion chief's vehicle and each ladder truck. That means the small masks are at every fire scene in the city.
"Animals are like people's kids... we treat them like that," Seeton said.
Leah was taken to a vet for a checkup, and Seeton said she is expected to be just fine.