California firefighters are being hailed as heroes for reviving a seemingly lifeless dog that had been trapped inside a burning apartment building.
The Santa Monica Fire Department said no humans were injured in the blaze. But once inside the building, they found Nalu, a dog that was “unresponsive” and “overcome by heat and smoke.”
“The dog was quickly pulled from the structure not breathing and without a pulse,” the department said in a news release.
Nalu’s companion, who was not inside at the time of the fire, arrived as her dog was being pulled out, fearing the worst for her 10-year-old Bichon Frise/Shih Tzu mix.
“His eyes were glazed over and he was not breathing and I assumed he was dead,” Crystal Lamirande told the local NBC station. “The firefighter said ‘I’m a positive person. Let’s just get him back.’”
That firefighter was Andrew Klein ― and what he did next was captured by photographer Billy Fernando, who posted video and photos of the rescue on his Facebook page:
“He was totally lifeless,” Klein told The Associated Press. “I picked him up and ran out of the apartment because time is key, especially with a small dog ... Failure was not an option.”
The photos and video from the scene show Klein giving the dog mouth-to-mouth as other firefighters assisted and one held a special pet-sized oxygen mask over the dog’s snout.
After about 20 minutes, Nalu was breathing again:
Lamirande told the AP that Nalu spent 24 hours in an oxygen chamber.
“He’s been coughing but right now he’s fine and he’s so happy and smiling,” she told the news agency.
The fire department shared an image to show Nalu making a nice recovery.
”Faith in humanity restored,” wrote Fernando.
The fire department said one resident has been displaced by the blaze, and they are still working to determine its cause.
The department also said pet oxygen masks are standard equipment carried by all of the city’s units.