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Firefighter adopts puppy who survived house fire to teach children fire safety

A firefighter will be training a puppy who survived a house fire to teach children about fire safety.

According to a Facebook post from Oregon’s South Coast Humane Society, a puppy named Smoky - who was rescued from a house fire - has found his forever home with a local firefighter. When the puppy first arrived at the shelter, the staff discovered that he had sustained several wounds - including burns to his back, feet, and face, as well as other areas.

After a veterinarian tended to his wounds, the puppy underwent “lots of intensive care, multiple cold baths, applying medicated salve, wound management and skin removal, and lots of love!” Once the puppy healed, the shelter - along with the help of the fire marshal who reached them about the puppy - scoured the area to find a home for the 16lb pup.

“The fire marshal knew that there was someone out there that would love this puppy and that he would bring true meaning to what happened to him,” the post added. The fire marshal eventually landed on a firefighter friend who adored Smoky the first time he set eyes on him.

As Smoky’s skin healed, the firefighter and his wife consistently visited the pup to form a bond. Once the shelter was “confident that his skin was on the mend and he could go home without the threat of infection,” Smoky was able to go home with the couple last weekend. In photos shared by the humane society, Smoky can be seen cuddling and playing with his new family.

Smoky will be helping his new owner teach children about the basic rules of fire safety, pending more rest and recovery from his wounds. His new owners hope that he can go on to become “an advocate for the ‘stop, drop, and roll’ presentations in the school districts”.

Each year, more than 500,000 pets are affected in residential fires and more than 40,000 of these pets die - primarily from prolonged smoke inhalation - during these events, reports say.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, house fires have been declining in the United States. As of now, the 2022 NFPA Fire Loss in the United States report says that its 2021 estimate of 338,000 reported home fires was 54 per cent lower than the estimate of 734,000 in 1980. The figure is also five per cent lower than the 2020 estimate of 356,500 house fires. The leading cause of home fires and fire injuries remains household cooking.

House fire fatalities fell 45 per cent lower in 2021 in contrast to the 5,200 deaths in 1980, however, the number climbed nine per cent higher than the 2020 estimate. For decades, the leading cause of house fire fatalities has remained fires started via smoking materials.