South Platte firefighters help rescue dog from house fire

Leigh Atkins said no one was home when South Platte Fire Protection District workers responded to a structure fire Wednesday, May 11 at her residence in Kansas City, Mo., but firefighters still rescued somebody very important.

Firefighters were able to retrieve Bubba, the Atkins’ family dog, from the home in southeastern Platte County after neighbors heard the dog crying inside and alerted those on the scene. At first, Bubba was found to be unresponsive before firefighters used a special animal oxygen mask to help revive him.

“The crews went into the first floor through the front door and found the dog, brought it outside,” said South Platte fire chief Richard Carrizzo. “Two of the firefighters on the outside of the structure checked on the dog and the dog was not breathing and so we began resuscitation efforts.

“Bubba came back conscious, and we wrapped him up, put him on a backboard and… took him to the animal hospital.”

According to reports, a local animal hospital treated Bubba for burns and smoke inhalation. He was expected to make a full recovery and be reunited with his family after the weekend.

Although Bubba was rescued, the fire consumed the entirety of the home and the belongings inside. Atkins said she lost everything because of the fire but was thankful for what firefighters did for Bubba.

“Things can be replaced. He’s a part of our family, and he really was the most important thing in that house. Everything else is no big deal,” Atkins said, during an interview with KMBC-TV — the ABC affiliate out of Kansas City, Mo. “I just want to thank all the firefighters who really cared enough. I know they’re not in the dog transporting business, but they took Bubba with an oxygen mask in their own vehicle.”

The department has been involved in a number of “dog transportations” with a record number of dog and cat rescues this year, according to Carrizzo. And that age-old rumor about firefighters saving cats from trees also has a bit of truth to it.

More dangerous rescues, like the one involving Bubba last week, are a bit more rare.

“We do do a lot of cat rescues out of trees,” Carrizzo said. “They probably come in… every other week, every third week, we’ll do a cat rescue out of a tree.”

To prevent unnecessary pet rescues, Carrizzo suggests one simple piece of advice: “Keep track of your pets.”