Paramedic revives, saves cat with smoke inhalation - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Paramedic revives, saves cat with smoke inhalation

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SAN TAN VALLEY, Ariz. -

A family's home suffered a lot of damage during a fire in San Tan Valley Friday morning. No one was home, except the family cat, which was rescued by firefighters and brought back to life by a paramedic.

This is one lucky cat. It was trapped inside the home as it filled with smoke.

Firefighters say it was nearly lifeless when they pulled it from the house, and then a paramedic gave the cat oxygen using a special mask just for pets.

It's a picture that shows just how far first responders will go to save a life -- Southwest Ambulance paramedic Shane Collett giving oxygen to Baby the cat.

"I know one of the fire guys said when they went upstairs to find it, that it was pretty much lifeless," says Collett. "After it started getting the oxygen through it and stuff like that -- it was really responsive and didn't want to go away."

No one was home at the time of the fire, so a neighbor took care of the cat until owner Cory Vanhoozer got home.

He's thankful the firefighters and paramedics did so much to save the cat that's been part of the family for six years.

"They saved everything. They did a really good job - I thanked them when they left," he says.

The special oxygen masks for pets on Rural Metro Fire engines were purchased by the staff at Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic.

"And our staff, instead of doing the gift exchange, decided to pool their money and purchase these kits for the fire department," says Dr. Marc Schmidt of Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic.

The home was heavily damaged by the fire, but Cory puts it all in perspective.

"Yeah, that can be fixed. As long as no one else got hurt, that's the most important thing. Everything else is replaceable."

The home sustained heavy damage.

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