A dog’s heroic friends

The Glengarry News - - News -

Two mod­est North Stor­mont fire­fight­ers have been cred­ited with sav­ing a dog that has since be­come the sub­ject of wide­spread me­dia cov­er­age.

Ginger, a small ter­rier, gained at­ten­tion when the pet was treated for smoke in­hala­tion in the Alta Vista An­i­mal Hospi­tal’s hy­per­baric cham­ber, one of the few such de­vices for an­i­mals in Canada. The an­i­mal was res­cued when North Stor­mont fire­fight­ers re­sponded to a fire at the Sm­r­czek fam­ily home on High­way 138 in the Maxville-Wa­rina Road area, on Easter Mon­day.

The fam­ily hap­pened to be in Ot­tawa that day as mother Tay­lor had just given birth to a baby boy.

North Stor­mont Fire Chief Daniel Gau­vin ex­plained what was hap­pen­ing at the Sm­r­czek res­i­dence April 2. “We were called to the scene some­time around 4 p.m. One son ar­rived by car and there were flames in the garage and the home was en­gulfed in smoke.” When a fam­ily mem­ber said there were pets in­side, two fire­fight­ers, who want to re­main anony­mous, went in and came out with Ginger. Fire­fight­ers later re­trieved an­other dog which had hid­den some­where, but a cat and a bird were lost.

Mr. Gau­vin talked with paramedics about help­ing Ginger breathe oxy­gen, but nei­ther the paramedics nor the fire de­part­ment had a spe­cial­ized kit for an­i­mals. The paramedics did, how­ever, check the an­i­mal’s heart and other vi­tal func­tions. A Sm­r­czek son took Ginger with him to the Alta Vista An­i­mal Hospi­tal.

“I would say that our 15 or so fire­fight­ers spent three hours on the scene. I stayed longer and in­ves­ti­ga­tor Nancy-Ann Gauthier ar­rived later. I am very proud of my fire­fight­ers for pulling Ginger and the other dog out of there,” added Chief Gau­vin.

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