Trapped dog saved from house fire

By Brett Kennedy

A DOG trapped in a burning house in Mount Gambier’s east early on Thursday morning is on the road to recovery thanks to quick-thinking emergency services personnel.

Metropolitan Fire Service crews responded to the Telford Street blaze around 2am with the house’s four occupants already outside after being awoken by a smoke detector.

Firefighters entered the property where a fire had been contained to a room, with the dog found unresponsive inside.

MFS Mount Gambier station officer Rob Baker said the dog was carried out “in a pretty bad way” and an adult human oxygen mask was applied to the animal, which started to show signs of life.

Limestone Coast Police then transported the dog to a local vet, with Mr Baker pleased to learn yesterday morning that the dog was recovering.

“It would be a bit of a frightening ordeal for anyone if you woke up to a couple of firefighters pulling you out of a house,” Mr Baker said.

Mr Baker said an electrical fault is believed to have ignited the fire, which caused around $25,000 damage and took around 10 minutes to extinguish.

“The smoke alarms were active and the occupants did the right thing, got out of the house and shut all the doors to help stop the spread,” Mr Baker said.

“It is so important that people check their smoke alarms are working,” he said.

“Coming into winter, people also need to check their electrical items are safe for use.”

It is not the first time Mr Baker has been involved in an animal rescue in his 23-year career, adding it was best people evacuate a burning structure and allow firefighters to locate pets.

“We’ve done a few animal rescues over my time and had a fair bit of success,” Mr Baker said.

“Animals are linked to the recovery process – a lot of people can lose their property and belongings but having their pet and exposure to animals is part of the recovery,” he said.

Meanwhile, MFS Mount Gambier station officer Adrian Puust said a quick and direct response from the city station helped prevent a fire from spreading at Mount Gambier’s Presidential Motel on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Puust said crews were able to limit the spread of the fire throughout the motel’s eastern wing, estimating around $100,000 of damage but a potential asset save of up to $1m.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation with a female occupant of the room where the fire is believed to have started requiring treatment for minor burns and cuts at the scene.

“The woman has escaped through a window and was treated by staff and other guests before SA Ambulance arrived,” Mr Puust said.