A pet rescue during a Saturday fire in Victoria was either a daring rescue or a fool-hardy act, depending on perspective.
Oscar Pohl, an acting battalion chief with the Victoria Fire Department, said a man described as in his 30s or 40s suffered smoking inhalation after he entered a burning house on Davie Street to rescue his dog.
“In this case, he was able to exit the building with his dog, but he could very well have gone down in the smoke,” said Pohl. “He could have been a victim in a more deadly sense … but that is easy for somebody to say when it is not your pet. Entering a building when there is an active fire is not a safe thing to do.”
Despite Pohl warning against entering the building, he acknowledged the perspective of the pet owner.
“At any point of time, we make one of those choices. But it always reminds me of water safety. One of the first things they teach is you don’t become a victim yourself. But then again, I wasn’t there at the time and it was not my pet.”
The pet, which Pohl described as a black Labrador cross, along with a cat rescued from the basement, found a temporary new home with a neighbour. The status of the man is not clear.
“As far as I know, ambulance took one person, possibly two to the hospital for smoke inhalation, and they were being treated there. They hadn’t returned from the hospital by the time we left the scene. So I have had no update on their condition,” said Pohl.
Pohl said investigation into the fire is ongoing. “They [investigators] have an area of interest and they just want to play some things out,” he said. “They are not considering it as suspicious. They are looking at it as sort of accidental cause from what have I gleaned from the situation so far.”
Pohl estimates that the fire caused estimated damages of around $150,000.
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