Woman escapes house fire; Peoria firefighters rescue 3 pets

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Updated Friday, Dec 7 at 5:29 PM

Map: *6th Ave. & Marconi

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PEORIA, Ariz. -- A Peoria woman is lucky to be alive after an early morning fire ripped through her home Thursday.

According to firefighters, it started in the laundry room of a house in the neighborhood of 86th and Marconi avenues, which is southwest of Loop 101 and Bell Road. The fast-moving flames then spread into the attic.

The woman was able to get out on her own. She was not injured.

That woman, however, was not the only one home when the fire broke out.

"She had three pets that we were able to get out safely," said Brian Leathers, an engineer with the Peoria Fire Department.

Leathers said a cat suffered smoke inhalation and needed some help breathing.

"He was on oxygen a good 20 minutes," he said.

While firefighters generally do the best they can to save pets, it's not always easy.

"Trying to find the pets is pretty hard because unlike people, they hide," Leathers said. "They hide under the beds and everything. … And then it presents a special problem trying to administer oxygen to them.

We have a special little mask to try to administer oxygen to pets." The woman did go to a local hospital as a precaution, Leathers said. "She had a little headache, but she's doing well," he said.

Firefighters said there was quite a bit of clutter in the woman's house. That clutter complicated the situation for firefighters, but they were able to get a handle on the fire.

"Once they got into the attic they were able to extinguish the fire pretty quickly," Leathers said.

It's not clear if the home was equipped with working smoke detectors.

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