On June 25, 2013, Swansea Ill. firefighters responded to a house fire at 4069 Bassen Drive, just after 2 a.m. Auggie, a yellow Labrador retriever, was found unconscious on a bathroom floor, but luckily fire rescuers pulled him to safety and revived him.
“We had to carry him out and he didn’t look like he was with us at all,” Swansea Fire Chief John McGuire told BND. “He’s a big dog, between 80 and 100 pounds. One guy was dragging him and one was pushing him. We gave him some oxygen and dribbled some water into his mouth and called the vet.”
The home in which Auggie was trapped was a two-story home that quickly filled up with heavy smoke. Fire was visible on the first floor.
According to McGuire, the fire seemed suspicious. No one, other than Auggie locked in the bathroom was home at the time the blaze started, and the fire had multiple points of origin.
Auggie’s life was saved thanks to the fire department being equipped with pet oxygen masks. These had been donated by Helping Animals Find Loving Owners (HALO) back in 2009. Auggie is the first dog to benefit from the donated masks given to the Swansea Fire Department.
“The masks are designed for an animal’s face for a better seal,” said Roni Aguirre, president of HALO. “We donated the masks in the hopes that if they ever had the unfortunate need to use one, they would have it.”
Auggie was lifeless when pulled from the fire, but as soon as rescuers revived the pet, he was taken to the Lashley Animal Hospital. When McGuire stopped by to check on Auggie around 9 a.m., he found an entirely different dog.
“I couldn’t believe it was the same dog from seven hours before,” McGuire said. “He was on a leash and he jumped all over me.”
If it wasn’t for the hero firefighters, their love to help everyone – included our four-legged friends, and the donated oxygen masks by HALO, Auggie wouldn’t be alive today.