Firefighters go above and beyond to rescue family pet on Lady's Island

Published: Mar. 28, 2016 at 12:19 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 27, 2016 at 12:28 PM EDT
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LADY'S ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - The cause of an RV fire that spread to a home early Monday morning on Lady's Island is under investigation.

The Lady's Island-St Helena Fire District was called out to a house fire at 3:30 a.m. on Blythewood Street. The homeowner reportedly woke up to what he described as an explosion type noise, and when he looked outside he saw his 2012 RV engulfed in flames in his driveway. He and his wife quickly exited the home and called 911, but by that time the flames had caught the house on fire.

When fire crews arrived, about 30 percent of the home was engulfed in flames and smoke, coming through the roof. The homeowner advised fire personnel on scene that their dog "Angel" was still in the house, so they acted quickly and were able to get the dog out. They say she was not burned but inhaled a lot of smoke.

According to the Lady's Island-St Helena Fire District, Beaufort County paramedics put an oxygen mask on the dog and listened to her heart rate and breathing. She was lethargic and had a slow heart rate, but luckily they got to her in time and after 10-15 minutes of treatment, Angel was back to normal.

The homeowners, who were inside at the time, described the very first moments.

"The camper blew, something in there blew up. There were three or four loud explosions. The first one woke me up, the second one hit, so I peeked through the blinds and saw that it was on fire. From that, it went from the camper right through the air vents. The whole roof inside is gone," said Brenda Jones, homeowner.

Irreplaceable, that's how the Jones family describes their Chihuahua.

The home suffered a lot of damage due to fire and even more from smoke, causing the family to have to find alternate housing for the next few months. The RV was a total loss.

"The first explosion it was so loud. Naturally I was asleep and I woke up and immediately there was a second one. I was like 'Oh God.' I was sure the marine base was being bombed I was sure it was a terrorist attack," said Jones.

But those explosions weren't attacks at all. It was actually the family's RV.

"The back of the trailer, so something went wrong. That's where the plug-ins are the gas tank, six tires, four in the back and two in the front. They exploded," said Jones.

The RV was quickly engulfed in flames and spread to the house. Forcing the couple to get out quickly.

"We got out, but our little dog was trapped under the bed. My husband was fighting them, the cops were trying to hold him down and everything he was screaming 'We have to get the baby. We have to get the baby!'" said Jones.

That's when a pair of firefighters jumped into action without hesitation.

They got her. They brought her out. We thought she was dead. She's a little Chihuahua. They did CPR, they forced air into her and when she started to move a little bit they put an oxygen mask on her and kept pumping and she survived," said Jones.

The firefighters worked on the small dog until she was breathing and moving again. A rescue, the family says is nothing short of a miracle.

"Out of everything, that was the only thing, they got the baby out. I didn't know they were going in there until he came out the door and she was just lying on his arm. It was a miracle. Her name is Angel and now we see why," said Jones.

The Jones family says their insurance company expects to have them back in their home in three to four months. A lot of valuables and keepsakes were lost in the fire.

Officials say the fire started in the RV, but the actual cause is still undetermined and is under investigation.

The Jones family told WTOC the camper had been plugged up for the past week after they returned home from a trip.

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