Los Angeles firefighters found four dogs and five cats unconscious and lifeless in a burning house just south of Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills late Wednesday night.
With miniature oxygen masks and smoke inhalation CPR techniques, the firefighters revived as many of the pets as they could. Two dogs and two cats perished, but the others are in stable condition.
Studio City-based Fire Station 97 Battalion 14 from Division 3 answered the call at 10:01 p.m.
“At first, we had the address a little wrong and we drove right past and I pointed out this place and said, ‘Hey, that house is on fire,’ “ said Capt. John Wolfenstein at the scene on the 2700 block of Laurel Canyon Blvd. “As soon as we arrived, we entered the building and we saw the animals on the floor near the door.”
A large black dog was revived quickly, and a chihuahua terrier didn’t seem like he would make it.
“I didn’t think the little one was going to come back, but he did, and he seems just fine now,” said Wolfenstein who put the little dog in one of the cars outside the house.
No people were inside the house and the owners had not returned home an hour after the fire was extinguished at 10:22 p.m. The house is not far from the Laurel Canyon Dog Park off Mulholland Drive.
One cat is still hanging on for life due to smoke inhalation, but began breathing again after 10 minutes on a small oxygen mask. A series of small masks were donated by a veterinarian’s office.
“We used the masks for about 10 minutes on each of them and saved as many as we could,” said Capt. Mike Castillo at the scene. “We treat them just like anyone else.”
The pets were transported to the Department of Animal Regulation until the owners could be notified. One neighbor said she had no idea so many animals lived in the house.
The fire seemed to have started in the kitchen, but the cause is still under investigation, according to LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey.
Laurel Canyon Boulevard was closed in both directions to traffic until after midnight from Lookout Mountain Avenue to Mulholland Drive.