Hall County firefighters rescued 14 dogs and a bird from a burning home early Tuesday morning, rendering life-saving aid to some with a breathing apparatus designed for pets.
Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle said firefighters were called to 5870 Wade Welchel Road in northwestern Hall County at about 3:15 Tuesday morning.
Resident Laura Adams was awakened by a smoke alarm, and heavy smoke was pouring from the house when firefighters arrived, Cagle said. Adams, who had made it out of the house, told firefighters her pets were still inside.
"Firefighters made an offensive attack to extinguish the fire and extracted the pets," Cagle said.
Rescuers were able to use oxygen devices designed for pets that were donated last year by a kennel club in order to help resuscitate two or three of the dogs, Cagle said. "A couple of puppies did not make it," he said.
The fire caused an estimated $50,000 in damage to the 2,000-square-foot house, Cagle said. Adams, who had renter’s insurance, took the animals to stay with her sister, he said.
Last November, the Cumming-based Sawnee Mountain Kennel Club donated 17 pet-sized oxygen masks to Hall County and Gainesville’s fire departments.
"They worked perfectly, just as they were supposed to," Cagle said.
The fire was accidental and believed to be electrical in nature, Cagle said.
Fire officials are investigating whether a heating device being used in a bathroom, where some of the puppies were kept, started the fire.