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Detroit officials rescue 15 of 17 dogs trapped inside burning home on city's west side

Firefighters and paramedics rescue puppies, dogs trapped in fire

DETROIT – Firefighters and paramedics in Detroit often go above and beyond when it comes to service, but a crew that saved more than a dozen dogs in a fire said it's just part of the job.

A call Tuesday morning sent firefighter Naomi Huff jumping into her gear. By the time her crew from Engine 57, along with Engines 55 and 53, got to the house on Detroit's west side, they could see thick smoke pouring from the basement.

"Somebody approached and said there were animals inside," Huff said.

"I couldn't believe how many dogs were coming out," paramedic Todd Sclafani said.

Paramedics and firefighters pulled a litter of puppies and seven other dogs from the fire. In total, 17 dogs had been trapped in the fire. Some of them stopped breathing, which meant the first responders brought out life-saving measures.

"It doesn't matter if it's a two-legged or four-legged life," Sclafani said. "I was doing CPR, one in each hand."

They even provided oxygen from their masks.

"I put it right by their mouth and nose and one hand pumping on the rib cage," Huff said. "Trying to hope for the best."

Officials were able to save all the dogs but two. There's a possibility their efforts could have saved all the dogs, but the Detroit Fire Department is lacking a key animal-saving device.

"We need pet mask, animal mask," Detroit fire Sgt. Jimmy Nadolski said.

They're proud of their efforts and hope next time they can save everyone involved, whether human or otherwise.

Nadolski said he's hoping someone will donate new animal masks to the fire department.