Four Animals Saved from Structure Fire

cat2At 1721 hours on 08/12/15, units from Okeechobee County Fire Rescue responded to a reported structure frre at 4940 SE Highway 441. The frrst unit arrived within three minutes and found a single wide mobile home with flames coming from the windows of one bedroom and smoke coming from the entire building.

Firefighters entered the structure and began an aggressive interior attack on the fire. The fire was declared out within 10 minutes of arrival. During the attack on the frre, the resident also advised that there were three cats and one dog still in the home.

Firefighters using a Thermal Imaging Camera that identifies the difference in temperature patterns were able to locate all four pets and remove them from the structure.cat1 Although the animals were initially disorientated, firefighters and deputies outside the structure were able to care for the animals by administering oxygen. After receiving care, the animals appeared to be in good shape and were returned to their owner. Inthe photo Left to Right, County Firefighters Borgstrom and Bridges along with Okeechobee County Sheriff's Deputy Crawford attend to the animals.

The State Fire Marshal's office was called to investigate the cause of the fire and determined the fire to have started due to unattended smoking material in the room of origin. Red Cross was also contacted to assist the resident.

A total of 8 fire personnel responded to the scene which included an Engine, Rescue, Chief Officer, and Safety Officer from Okeechobee County, and an Engine from the City for Okeechobee. Assistance was also received from the Sheriff's Office.

Okeechobee County Fire Rescue Chief Ralph Franklin states that according to the United States Fire Administration, smoking is the number one cause of home frre deaths across the country. He reminds everyone to extinguish smoking materials in an ashtray with a wide base so they won't tip over and start a fire.