BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A tiny infant oxygen mask made the difference between life and death for four puppies trapped in a burning home.
"I truly believe that this is one of the things that saved them," said Chief Joe Boney.
Those puppies are now recovering at the Humane Society of South Mississippi.
"They will have to be processed. They're going to be given baths. I understand they were given six baths last night at the ER, because they were in pretty bad condition covered in feces and urine and fleas," said Katie King, who is the Development Manager at HSSM.
According to a Biloxi animal control officer, they were called to the home on Crawford Street earlier that day. No one was there when they arrived, so they left a notice on the door. Hours later, Biloxi Firefighters got a call the home was on fire.
"They quickly made entry into the structure. They didn't find any victims, but on their way out they could hear some puppies barking," said Chief Joe Boney.
Chief Boney says three of the four puppies were unconscious.
"They took the puppies outside and put them in fresh air. They weren't responding real well. So, at that point they started a little bit of life-saving techniques on them," said Boney.
Quick-thinking firefighters grabbed the infant oxygen masks and began stimulating the lifeless pups, thankfully they regained consciousness at the scene.
"More often than not, when we find animals they're already deceased in a structure fire this was one of the rare cases where we got to them in time," said Boney.
Humane Society officials believe the pups will be well enough in just a couple of days to be adopted.
No civilians or first responders were injured in the blaze, and its cause is under investigation.