Firefighters honored for rescuing dogs in house fire

HOUSTON - It was a scene that was hard to watch. A home on fire. All of the people, made it out safely. But nearly 30 dogs were trapped inside. On Friday the men and women who helped rescue many of those pups were honored.

"When we made entry into the house and extinguished the fire that's when we started finding more dogs throughout the house, and coming out of everywhere," said District Chief Chris Turrentine, with the Westfield Fire Department.

When firefighters arrived at the home back on April 12, they were surprised at what they found inside -- nearly 30 dogs, many hurt in that fire.

"There were a handful that looked as if they weren't going to survive, but luckily with the administration of the oxygen, it really helped them," Turrentine said.

Fire crews from Westfield, Aldine, Eastex and Harris County all responded to the fire. Rescue crews were able to save 15 of those pups.

On Friday, pet store Natural Paws, as well as others, gathered to honor those heroes.

"I think it takes an extra special effort for them to also care about the animals," said Biff Picone, co-owner of Natural Paws.

But for these men and women, it's about more than just the job, it's about family.

"Most of us here are pet owners, dog lovers; I myself am, and I would want rescuers to rescue my pets who I consider family," said Turrentine.

Rescue crews credit special masks for animals for saving so many lives. One of the responding agencies had those masks.

Turrentine says he is working to make sure all of the crews at Westfield have pet respirator masks available in the future.

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