The image of a firefighter rescuing a small, helpless pet is a classic one.
But the sad reality is there isn’t much that can be done to save a pet trapped in a house engulfed in flames.
“Once the fire starts, if the pet is there by themselves there’s not much you can do, especially if they are in a crate,” said David Kimbrell, Hall County Emergency Services Manager and Fire Chief.
The county doesn’t track the prevalence, but it is not uncommon to hear about pets dying in house fires.
“We do not track that,” Kimbrell said. “I know we have several but couldn’t put a number to it.”
In a May fire on Commander Drive, a family mourned the loss of one of their dogs.
In June, a 5-month-old puppy that was kept in the bathroom during the day was killed in a fire at a North Hall rental home.
And in February, the Hall County Animal Shelter provided a new dog for a woman who had lost her two dogs in a house fire.
Kimbrell advised general fire prevention tips to keep both pets, and humans, safe.
One of the most important measures that the department stresses is having working smoke alarms in the house.
Maintain your smoke alarm by testing it at least monthly, the department says, with battery changes twice a year.
The marshal’s office provides safety checklists and tips for home fire safety that can be found at hallcounty.org/fireservices.