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Patient Care

Ala. Firefighters Use Pet Oxygen Mask to Revive Kitten After House Fire

Oct. 12--There may not be much consolation when a home has been heavily damaged in a fire, but Susan Peek of Advantage Emergency Medical Services believes a Springdale Avenue woman found some Friday.

The afternoon blaze apparently started in the kitchen, Gadsden Assistant Fire Chief Lecil Harrelson said, and caused significant damage to the residence.

While firefighters still were in the house after the blaze was under control, Harrelson said, firefighter Ben Ponder found a small kitten under some insulation in the residence and brought it out to Peek and Janet Vinson, also of Advantage EMS.

"It was alive," Peek said, "but its little gums were blue."

Fortunately, firefighters had something else to bring out -- oxygen masks designed for pets.

Fire Chief Stephen Carroll said the masks had been given to the department by a veterinary group. "We decided to put them in the 38 car," he said, "because it goes out to all calls."

The masks were placed in the car on Thursday.

"We found one that fit," Peek said, and used it to give the kitten -- named Elsa -- oxygen. "She started to pink up and purr and move around."

In a short time, Peek said, the kitten as acting normally.

Peek said she approached the home's resident, and asked her how many pets she had.

"She told me one, and she started to tear up," Peek said. "I told her, 'Come with me,'" and she took to woman to the recovering kitten.

"Seeing the kitten alive and getting well, I think that brightened a very difficult time for her," Peek said.

Copyright 2016 - The Gadsden Times, Ala.

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