SHOUT OUT: Smoke billowed through an East Newark duplex late last night when Lyndhurst Firefighter Andrew Wagner, searching rooms with a thermal imaging camera, found an unconscious dog on a kitchen floor.
“She was moaning, taking her last breath,” Lyndhurst Fire Chief Paul Haggerty told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this morning. “Andrew scooped her up and carried her to the front of the building.”
Haggerty’s crew responded to the call for a rescue company — one of two Bergen departments, along with North Arlington — at the three-alarm blaze. In the Lyndhurst truck was an animal rescue kit with masks donated by local families in 2008 and 2014.
Firefighters conducted CPR on the injured pooch, named Zoe, and “within minutes she was revived,” Haggerty said.
“I was convinced she was dead,” Mary Ellen Russell told nj.com a short time later.
She and her son had gone out for something to eat when the fire broke out, possibly by a lit cigarette, she said.
“My son came and goes ‘Ma, she’s been in there a long time. There’s too much smoke’,” Russell said.
Thanks to Wagner, Zoe made it out and was later taken to an emergency vet in Lyndhurst.
“We all were relieved,” Haggerty said. “I’m a dog lover, and I can tell you: They’re like family.”
No major injuries were reported in the five-hour blaze, which left four families homeless and damaged the municipal garage.
A Lyndhurst firefighter became dehydrated and declined medical attention after getting some fluids at the Delafield Avenue firehouse, Haggerty said.
“It all shows the value of good equipment,” he said. “Thermal imaging camera, animal rescue kits. They make a difference.”