Merced firefighters rescue dog with equipment donated by Girl Scouts

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- Five family members are dealing with the loss of their home and one of their dogs after an apartment fire in Merced.

Firefighters managed to save a second dog with the help of equipment that was recently donated by a local Girl Scouts troop.

Video recorded by the Merced City Fire Department shows crews battling the blaze that broke out inside an apartment on 19th near T Street Tuesday morning.

Merced Fire Batallion Chief Mickey Brunelli says, "The first engine at scene reported smoke and fire showing from one of the apartments. It was reported that all occupants were out of the building when they got there."

As firefighters made their way inside, they discovered a dog suffering from smoke inhalation. They carried him to safety and started working to revive him with the help of a pet oxygen kit recently donated by Girl Scout Troop 3003.

Brunelli says, "We feel very fortunate the Girl Scouts chose us to be the recipients of that donated equipment. We really enjoy working with our community partners, and we think this is a great example of the good things that come from those partnerships."

Firefighters were able to resuscitate the pup, and a Merced Police Animal Control unit then took him to Valley Animal Hospital for treatment.

Dr. Jon Klingborg says, "He should make a full recovery. It's just going to take time for him. He's enjoying getting lots of attention here, and we're feeding him and taking him for walks, and while we're taking it very slowly, we don't want him to overdo it right now. Everything is going great."

Sadly, a second dog died in the fire, and the apartment itself is a total loss. The Red Cross is now assisting the two adults and three children who lived here. Firefighters were able to protect the surrounding units, and they later visited the dog they rescued at the veterinarian's office.

Brunelli says, "We take a lot of pride in being able to save a life, even if it's a pet. We consider those family, so crews are very happy when they are able to have a successful save in an event like that."

Firefighters say they responded to this same unit earlier in the morning for an overheated electrical outlet and removed some burning clothes and other items from the apartment.

They believe the tenants may have brought some of those items back inside before they were fully extinguished, but they are still investigating if that is what caused the fire.
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