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Family escapes burning home, firefighters rescue dog

Rockdale County Fire-Rescue saved this dog from a burning home early Sunday morning. All five family members in the house were able to escape unharmed, but the dog was in a crate in the basement. Firefighters rescued him, and personnel with National EMS administered oxygen. Special photo

Rockdale County Fire-Rescue saved this dog from a burning home early Sunday morning. All five family members in the house were able to escape unharmed, but the dog was in a crate in the basement. Firefighters rescued him, and personnel with National EMS administered oxygen. Special photo

CONYERS -- A family of five escaped their burning home unharmed early Sunday morning, but it took firefighters with Rockdale County Fire-Rescue to save their dog.

According to public information officer Lt. Chris Kozikowski, firefighters were called to a home in the 2500 block of Shady Lane at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday to find flames showing through the roof of the home. Two of the family members had escaped from a front bedroom window and then notified three other family members who were sleeping in the basement. All were able to escape unharmed, but their family pet was still inside in a crate in the basement.

Firefighters entered the home and found the dog, which was breathing but unconscious. He was carried out of the home and turned over to personnel with National EMS who gave him oxygen. The dog was revived and then taken by its owner to an animal hospital, according to Kozikowski.

"The fire resulted in a total loss to the structure and originated in the kitchen," according to Fire-Rescue Fire Prevention Officer Sharon Webb. "Red Cross was contacted to assist the family."

Kozikowski said the exact cause of the fire had not been determined.

He also said that breathing masks designed for animals are carried on each of the department's fire engines.

In 2011 the department received a donation of oxygen masks specially designed for dogs, cats, and other animals from People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals in recognition of firefighters' efforts to rescue a Rottweiler-Labrador mix from a well. The dog had apparently been trapped in the 20-foot well for about a week.

Fire-Rescue and Rockdale Animal Care and Control personnel used a ladder to descend into the well and attach a harness to the dog, which was lifted up and reunited with her owner.