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Dog rescued from burned-out house

Dec. 15, 2010 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A dog was rescued by Huntington firefighter Joshua Blake and Capt. Shawn Willis after a Guyandotte home was damaged by fire just after 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Blake said he was taking a break from the fire in the 3200 block of 9th Avenue when Willis took him in for another sweep. He said a message had gotten to Willis that a dog may be in the house.

"My captain and I went in for a final sweep of the house and went back upstairs," Blake said. "I heard a whimper coming from the corner. We got quiet and followed the sound and found the dog."

He brought the dog out and used a special pet oxygen mask to clear the smoke-filled lungs of the weary canine -- something they are trained to do.

He said once the oxygen clears the lungs, dogs tend to snap back into reality, which is what happened with this one.

Blake, who has been with the Huntington Fire Department for three years, said saving a pet happens more than most people realize. It's just that the actions never get through the grapevine like this one did -- courtesy of a neighbor who snapped a photo of the rescue.

"It's a fire and this is what we do," he said.

Saving the dog probably will mean a lot to the family of four, who lost a lot in the fire. Chief Creig Moore said there was moderate damage to the home, including smoke, fire and water damage.

"I'm a pet lover, and it would mean a lot to me," Blake added.

The Salvation Army is assisting the family and has provided hotel accommodations for them.