MONROE TWP, Mich. (FOX 2) - A devastating fire in Monroe County took the life of several pets Monday morning but firefighters were able to save others with pet ventilators and oxygen masks.
The homeowners in Monroe Township were fortunately not at home when the fire started Monday morning, but their 13 dogs and cats were. Firefighters rushed to the scene to try to save many animals as possible and, at first, believed someone was trapped inside.
"The initial report was that there was possibly somebody trapped inside," said Fire Chief Mark Cherney.
Nobody was inside but firefighters did find 13 pets. They got the dogs and cats all out of the home and crews did CPR and gave the pets oxygen with special masks.
"There’s different sizes here that you can use, depending on size of the animal you basically put their snout right where the hole is and then you just hook up the oxygen to the device here," Cherney said.
Unfortunately, three dogs and three cats all died in the fire. Cheney says two adult cats and five kittens are all on ventilators at a vet.
"People know how to get out of structures for the most part pets if there’s no one home, they’re basically trapped they have no place to go they hide under beds and in closets, but smoke goes everywhere," Cherney said.
The fire started in the kitchen of the home and it's too early to know exactly what the cause was. However, Cherney said he's seen pets accidentally turn on a burner in the past.
"The theory is pets, smell food they want to try to maybe get up on the counter, put their paws up and accidentally turn on a burner from a stove," he said. "I would encourage people if you have pets to put on safety latches over the stove handles, so that doesn’t happen."