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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Unbelievable Photos: Firefighters Rescue Two Dogs, Cat as Fire Destroys Home

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On the evening of Feb. 22, firefighters with Upper Pine River Fire Protection responded to a house fire near Bayfield, Colorado.

By the time they arrived, the building was 70% engulfed in flames, and the structure, having been burned previously, was incredibly unsafe.

“Upper Pine River arrived to find a fully involved structure fire at approximately 5 p.m. on CR 523,” a Facebook post from the Upper Pine River Fire Protection read.

“This house had burned before and was structurally unsound with a basement. Crews remained defensive on this fire as the floor had burned away creating a death tramp for firefighters to fall through the floor into the basement with heavy fire.”

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Despite the dangerous scenario, firefighters were able to rescue a cat and two dogs. One of the dogs was was a Rottweiler, according to The Durango Herald.

While the dogs were unharmed, the cat was not doing well. Firefighters had to resuscitate it using a pet oxygen mask, but once they revived it, it appeared to be doing well.

All three animals were taken by the Southern Ute Shelter, and according to one firefighter, the cat is “probably looking for a nice home.”

“Firefighter/EMT Bryce Jenkin rescuing a cat from the 523 fire, a donor had given Upper Pine some animal oxygen mask a few years ago which we are putting to use,” Upper Pine River Fire Protection shared in another post.

“Cat was revieved and is at the Southern Ute shelter.”

Chief of the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District Bruce Evans said that the next day they were trying to figure out how the fire started.

It was unclear who — if anyone — was living in the home as it is owned by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and is currently “assigned” to somebody.

At the time of the fire, the house had no power and no running water, but someone had managed to connect it to power anyway. The area was littered with trash and debris, including empty chemical containers and propane tanks.

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“We’re really not sure what was going on in there,” Evans said. “We’re suspicious that there was probably some illegal activity going on in there.”

Later, a woman came forward saying she didn’t live there but had been raising dogs on the property.

“Her story was that she had started a fire in the fireplace and it had gotten out of the fireplace and caught some other stuff on fire,” Evans explained. “She said that by the time she noticed the fire had gotten out of the fireplace, the whole room was involved in fire.”

The house was completely destroyed by the fire, and the remains of the structure were pushed into the basement with a bulldozer.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking