The only victim of a noon-hour house fire in Abbotsford was a cat, and it had the good fortune to be rescued by an Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service crew with one of four oxygen masks for pets.
The cat was one of two pets pulled out of a suite in Levi’s Court, a multiple-unit resident building at 33499 Marshall Road, after a mattress in the basement of the suite caught fire and filled the unit with smoke.
The other pet, a dog, escaped unscathed, but the cat was limp and barely conscious when firefighters brought it out.
It suffered “extensive smoke inhalation” Assistant chief Craig Bird said.
A special animal-sized mask was applied, and firefighters took turns making sure is stayed in place.
The animal was expected to recover.
The oxygen masks for pets were added to local fire trucks last year following a successful fundraiser by Mountain View Veterinary Hospital, along with Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service and the Abbotsford Fire Fighters Association (IAAF 2864).
Mountain View was only planning to provide pet oxygen mask kits to the Township of Langley Fire Department, but when the fundraiser surpassed its goal in two weeks organizers reached out to other fire departments.
The masks come with three different sized masks that can be used on dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and more.