DUXBURY, Mass. - A Duxbury family is thankful not only for the firefighters who rescued their dog from their burning home but also a special device the first-responders used.
Kurt Holloway had been working from home last month when he left for less than an hour and received a text message informing him his house was on fire. His police officer friend had noticed the smoke while heading to a different call and was the first to arrive on scene.
While Holloway's wife and three daughters were out of state, their dog Brodie, a 7-year-old Old English Bulldog, was home lying on the couch as the electrical fire consumed the house.
"In the ten minutes I was driving, all I could think about was Brodie, because he's an amazing dog," Holloway said. "If I had come home and they weren't able to find him and he succumbed to that, it would've killed me. He's an integral part of this family."
But when Holloway arrived, he found firefighters carrying out Brodie, who was in distress, wheezing and having difficulty breathing.
"They went (into the house) on their hands and knees, did a search only by feel. They got to the sofa, and that's where they found this body," said Duxbury Fire Capt. Rob Reardon. "When they pulled it out and down, they realized it was a dog. Once outside, the dog had taken in a ton of smoke. So we went and got the pet oxygen masks."
Firefighters initially used a regular oxygen mask meant for people, but then retrieved the pet oxygen mask that a local veterinarian had donated years ago.
"No doubt, this helped to get him the oxygen needed to survive," Reardon said. "This is the right tool for the job."
Brodie spent the night in the animal hospital, in an oxygen chamber and receiving additional treatment. The following day, his family picked him up, coughing and covered in smoke. He has since fully recovered.
"It was really weird, because I've never seen him sad or down or even hurt," said 11-year-old Camryn Holloway. "It was kind of heartbreaking, but I'm glad he's good."
Marshfield business SERVPRO told Boston 25 News Thursday they have donated pet oxygen masks to Marshfield Fire Dept., and Marshfield Police Dept.'s K-9 Unit in the past. When they learned of Brodie's rescue, they donated a replacement pet oxygen mask to Duxbury Fire.
The pet oxygen mask - to be used for dogs and cats of all sizes - has a different shape and a special seal to fit around the face and better supply oxygen to the animal.
The Holloways believe all fire departments should have the devices.
"I think that was probably the main difference there," Kurt's wife, Erin Holloway, said. "It would've taken them awhile to get him to a facility to take care of him."
Kurt, Erin and their three daughters are convinced that, without their alert police officer friend, the brave firefighters who ran into their burning home and the pet oxygen mask, Brodie would not be alive.
"They got him out in time, and that oxygen mask honestly saved his life," 15-year-old Avery said. "And I'm so grateful for it."
The fire, which investigators determined was electrical, destroyed the family's home, stripping them of nearly all their possessions. But the Holloways, now living in a rental home, have a new outlook on life.
"We lost all of our things, but we really didn't lose anything in the end," 17-year-old Madison Holloway said.
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