Oxygen masks used to save dogs in Plymouth flat fire
HEROIC firefighters resuscitated two dying dogs after they were rescued from a burning flat.
Two cats died in the blaze at the dockyard end of St Levan Road. And a snake has been taken into veterinary care suffering from smoke inhalation.
The dramatic scenes unfolded shortly before 3pm yesterday afternoon.
Crews from Greenbank and Camels Head stations rushed to the scene and rescued a 50-year-old man.
It's believed he had fallen asleep with a lit cigarette in his hand.
The cats were recovered from the ground floor property but nothing could be done to save them.
Both the dogs – a border terrier cross and a Staffordshire bull terrier – were unconscious when they were brought out.
Camels head crew commander Pete Dahle and fire officer Alex Putman took a dog each and desperately tried to bring them round.
Pete explained: "We had them for about 10 minutes each. The were unresponsive when they were brought out so we put the oxygen masks – the same ones you would use on a person – over their faces and managed get them back.
"They were fully responsive but they were still a bit dopey and they'll probably need antibiotics but they were both on their feet."
St Levan Road was closed while the fire was brought under control.
Jason Ford, 20, was in the flat directly above with his girlfriend when the blaze broke out.
He said: "The fire alarm downstairs was going off but that happens quite often so we didn't think anything of it.
"Then we heard a bang and my girlfriend smelled smoke.
"We opened the door and the staircase was filled with smoke so we just ran out.
"It was terrifying."
Acting sergeant David Brown said: "The two dogs were thought to be deceased but they were revived by the good work of the firefighters.
"A man has been arrested on a separate matter not directly related with the fire.
"From what we can establish it looks there were no malicious circumstances.
"It looks like the man has fallen asleep with a cigarette and the fire started in the living room.
"The occupant is very lucky to be alive. It was a serious fire and the flat has been completely gutted.
"Residents in the block were initially evacuated. But because of the concrete ceilings all the damage has been contained to the one flat.
"The male occupant was treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation. The owner was here straight away and took the dogs to a vet."