UPDATED - Sackville firefighter rescues cat from burning building

Tribune-Post Staff sdoherty@sackvilletribunepost.com
Published on June 2, 2014

SACKVILLE, N.B. – A Sackville home has been badly damaged and a garage completely destroyed following a fire Monday evening that took nearly four hours for firefighters to put out.

Sackville Fire Chief Craig Bowser said the department received a dispatch at about 6 p.m. on Monday of a garage fire on Pringle Street that was spreading over to the house.

Upon arrival, crews did a quick assessment of the scene, said Bowser, and within moments realized the garage, where the blaze had originated, wasn’t able to be saved at that point.

“The garage structure was completely on fire and pretty well destroyed,” he said

The fire, however, had begun to spread over to the main residence and into the eaves. The family was not at home at the time of the fire.

The firefighters quickly began an exterior and interior attack but were challenged by the persistence of flames and smoke on the roof of the home, with the trouble seemingly caused by a double layer of roofing (new roofing placed over old roofing).

“It was a fair length of time before we were able to get the fire completely out,” said Bowser, adding that firefighters finally left the scene around 10 p.m.

The back of the residence suffered extensive fire damage, said Bowser, while the main floor and the basement has a fair amount of water and smoke damage.

“It’s total devastation for the family to get that phone call, to hear that all their personal belongings and everything they hold dear is at risk,” he said.

Fortunately, firefighters were able to save at least one of their treasured possessions – the family pet.

The Sackville Fire and Rescue department was more than an hour into fighting the fire inside when they heard a cat meowing. They located the cat and brought it outside, where they were able to administer oxygen to the animal using the department’s pet oxygen mask and small amounts of water to help revive the animal.

“They were able to bring the cat around . . . the cat is okay,” said Bowser, who noted that the cat was fairly active later on that evening.

The fire is still under investigation but the fire chief did caution homeowners to ensure flammables are in proper containers and well vented because they can be combustible when in hot conditions.