Dog rescues keep firefighters busy

Firefighters rescued two dogs in separate life-threatening incidents in the North Quabbin Area Monday — one involving fire, the other ice.

An Orange family lost its kitchen to a fire Monday morning but their dog is reportedly recuperating from smoke inhalation, while another dog survived an icy dip in New Salem.

Orange Fire Capt. Jim Young said a neighbor reported a fire in the single-family home at 95 Burrill Ave. at 9:33 a.m.

Nobody was home at the time, he said, and the cause of the fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal but does not look suspicious.

The fire gutted the first-floor kitchen and had begun to spread to the second floor, but the home is habitable for the moment, Young said. A dog inside the home suffered smoke inhalation.

“There was a dog that was pulled from the building. It was transported by the police and sheriff’s department on scene to the animal hospital; it’s making a recovery right now,” Young said.

The dog was recuperating at Adams Animal Hospital in Athol, he said.

In New Salem, another dog fell into icy water but similarly survived.

New Salem firefighters rescued a small dog from Eagleville Reservoir, also known as Lake Rohunta or Eagleville Pond, in New Salem near the Athol border around 10:30 a.m.

“The dog fell through the ice and we got it out, that was pretty much it. It wasn’t too terribly far from the shore. He had been there for a little while; he was very cold,” said New Salem Fire Chief Joseph Cuneo.

Getting the dog out involved a member of the volunteer department with some ice rescue training lying spread-eagled on the ice to distribute his weight and extending a small ladder the dog was able to catch, he said.

“He had just about had it,” Cuneo said.

The small dog was returned to its owner, shivering badly but alive the last time firefighters saw it.

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