Durham County

Heroic Durham firefighters rescue woman and her cat from their burning home.

Durham firefighter saves pet cat's life

Durham firefighters Thursday rescued a woman resident and resuscitated a pet cat but sadly were unable to save a pet Shih Tzu dog all trapped in a late afternoon blaze.
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Durham firefighters Thursday rescued a woman resident and resuscitated a pet cat but sadly were unable to save a pet Shih Tzu dog all trapped in a late afternoon blaze.

A woman suffered burns and she and one of her two pets was saved by Durham firefighters, who responded to a house fire Thursday afternoon.

Durham firefighters responded to the report of a house fire at 902 Golden Crest Drive after receiving several emergency calls shortly before 4:30 p.m. When they arrived, heavy fire was coming from first- and second-floor windows at the rear of the house, said Durham Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Iannuzzi.

Bystanders in the front yard told firefighters a woman was still inside. Firefighters quickly located her and removed her from the house. She was treated on the scene by Durham County EMS for burns on one arm and both legs and then transported to the UNC Burn Center in Chapel Hill, Iannuzzi said.

A cat and small dog were also reported to be trapped. The cat was found in a lethargic state in a bathtub on the second floor. Firefighters and EMS personnel provided the cat with oxygen treatment and it appeared to recover. The pet dog, a Shih Tzu, was found in the house but did not survive.

It took about 15 minutes for firefighters to bring the blaze under control. There was heavy fire damage to both floors and the attic, according to Iannuzzi.

The fire appeared to have been accidental and started while the occupant was lighting a candle, according to Iannuzzi.

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6678, @JEJ_HSNews

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