Connellsville Township VFD responds to fire, treats cat with special oxygen mask
When Connellsville Township volunteer firefighters responded to a house fire this week, they found the fire out, a smoke-filled residence and the family's cat hiding in the structure.
Connellsville Township VFD Assistant Chief Rob Leiberger said the fire, which originated in the bathroom, was out when they arrived at approximately 8:18 p.m. Tuesday to the home of Tammy Mader at 1407 Buttermore Blvd. Mader reportedly arrived about the same time.
Firefighters then set up fans for smoke removal, and although no injuries were reported, came to the aid of a victim inside the house.
“Their cat was hiding in the house that was full of smoke,” Connellsville Township VFD Captain Kevin Karwatsky said.
The cat didn't appear to be in any serious danger, but there was concern because the cat was in the smoke-filled house and even had soot around its nostrils, he said.
Karwatsky used the Invisible Fence Brand Pet Oxygen Mask kit, which consists of three different-sized masks uniquely shaped to fit around a dog's or cat's mouth and nose. The masks are attached to oxygen like they would with a human, but there's also a guide about how much oxygen to use on a different animal.
“We put it to use for the first time that night,” Karwatsky said of the new piece of equipment, adding that he let the residents place the oxygen mask around the cat's face.
“I think it enjoyed the oxygen,” Karwatsky said. “The cat was licking the inside of the mask.”
Invisible Fence, which is a system to keep pets on a resident's property, started Project Breathe by providing one pet oxygen mask kit free to an interested fire department. To date, the company has donated more than 10,000 masks to fire stations throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Karwatsky said he found out about the program after a friend sent him an email. He went on the website to learn more and submitted a request, which must have been lost in the system. He then discovered that Invisible Fence had a company in Greensburg and contacted them. The company gave the fire department a free kit.
“I thought this was a good thing,” Karwatsky said. “People look at their pets as children.”
On a personal note, Karwatsky said he highly encourages any and all fire departments to look into Project Breathe and apply for a kit.
“It costs you nothing but a little bit of time,” Karwatsky said. “It's another way to better serve the public.”
Leiberger said the cause of the fire remains unknown. A state police fire marshal will investigate.
He added that there was minor damage to the bathroom.
Visit the Invisible Fence website at www.invisiblefence.com/giving-back/project-breathe for more information on Project Breathe.
Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Connellsville Recreation Board looks for more choices at Movies at East Park
- Big things happening for FRIENDS of Carnegie Free Library
- St. Rita of Cascia Roman Catholic Church marks centennial in Connellsville
- ‘Hairspray Jr.’ comes to Connellsville
- Masontown man Packroni identifies defendant Harris as attacker
- Suspect in Uniontown woman’s homicide surrenders to police, claims innocence
- Mt. Pleasant council picks police chief
- ‘Phantom’ breezes into Laurel Highlands High School
- Charges dropped in dad’s stabbing in South Connellsville
- Fayette County motorist accused of firing shots when good Samaritans stop at crash scene
- Fayette County man pleads guilty to attempted homicide for stabbing during argument