Heartwarming reunion: First responders reunite with dog rescued in house fire

Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 12:25 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (WJLA) - A dog was reunited with the first responders who helped save her life after a house fire in the Washington, D.C. area last year.

On Tuesday, Charlie, a lab hound mix, and her owner were able to thank the rescuers from that day.

“We are celebrating Charlie’s third birthday today, which we wouldn’t be able to do if it wasn’t for these brave men and women,” Ann Sanders, Charlie’s owner, said.

Firefighters rescued the dog from a burning home. She spent four days on oxygen at a local animal hospital after the incident.

“We were 6,000 miles away when we got the call that our house was on fire. And of course, the main thing that we were concerned about was our dog,” Sanders said.

D.C. fire and emergency services jumped into action that day to put out the fire and rescue Charlie.

“I immediately approached the firefighter and I said I would take care of the dog,” paramedic Marcella Somuah said. “The dog was laying there lifeless, breathing very deep and shallow. She had a lot of mucus coming out of her nose from the face mask. I immediately took the face mask off and cleared the airway.”

Rescuers said the dog was exposed to heavy smoke conditions during the fire.

“We just want to say thank everybody for everything,” Sanders said.

Fire officials reminded all pet owners to have an emergency plan with the following:

  • Make sure your pet’s animal license is current and attached to your pet at all times.
  • Include a disaster kit for your pet, including food and water.
  • Prepare a first aid kit, including medication and medical records.
  • And have a dog or cat door in your home so your pets don’t get trapped.

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