LIMA — If her name isn’t Lucky now, it should be. A yellow Labrador retriever, Cola, was saved from a fire on Lima’s South Pine Street Thursday morning, thanks to newly donated dog oxygen masks.
The Lima Fire Department responded to a two-story brick house engulfed in flames just before 9:15 a.m. at 705 S. Pine St., Lima. Cola was removed from the fire, limp, unresponsive and covered in ash.
Linda Bailey, 44, who rents the house, was inconsolable when she saw firefighters carrying out the lifeless dog. The dog was found in the basement. Crying and screaming, she approached her.
Firefighters worked for about five minutes on the dog, pumping oxygen into her through a mask, until they confirmed she was breathing.
“I’m so happy,” Bailey said, tears streaming down her face. “I’m just glad me and my kids are OK.”
Bailey’s three boys were not at the home during the fire, she said. She was upstairs and awoke when she heard her fire alarm sounding.
She went downstairs and found a pot was on fire on her stove top. She said she moved it slightly, causing the flames to roar up. Immediately after, she called the fire department and exited the residence, she said.
Firefighters on scene said the house was a total loss, mostly due to smoke damage. A few also mentioned they had just received the animal oxygen masks within the last week that revived Cola.
“I can’t believe they just got them,” Bailey said. “It’s a miracle. They saved her life.”
The house owner is listed as York Chambers and is valued at $18,000, according to the Allen County auditor’s website.
“I lost everything. Everything,” Bailey said, looking at the house, smoke still billowing from the downstairs window.
Moments later, firefighters hauled out blackened kitchen appliances. Fire investigator Toby Jenkins confirmed the fire started on the stove.
The Red Cross was called to assist the family, a firefighter said.
“It’s such a confusing day for me. Because while I just lost my house, everything that I own,” she said, pointing toward the ruins. “I still have my dog and my kids, and we’re lucky to be alive today.”
Delphos Animal Hospital plans to donate two more pet oxygen mask kits to the department later this month.