WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Wilmington firefighters saved two lives while battling an accidental fire Wednesday afternoon.
According to David Hines with the fire department, crews were able to knock down flames that started on the second floor of a home in the 400 block of South 4th Street.
He says investigators have ruled the fire as accidental, from an electrical multi-outlet power strip being used in a single-use extension cord. That caused an electrical overheat.
Hines says the fire caused about $75,000 worth of damage.
Several searches of the home were conducted, but no one was found inside. Two cats were rescued and emergency crews were able to resuscitate them using a pet oxygen mask.
Training Captain Tim Smith said he doesn't underestimate the importance of pets and isn't afraid to revive them like humans.
"We'll get the kitty or the dog out of the structure, and we'll start to do mouth to snout ventilation with chest compressions," explained Smith.
Each fire truck in the city fire department has a set of pet oxygen masks in three different sizes. The pet masks cost about $100 a set. Call the Wilmington Fire Department at (910) 341-7846 if you are interested in donating a set in honor of a pet loved or in memory of a pet lost.