Lanny Harrison of the Selma Fire Department gave clean air to a dog named A.J. and revived him after he lost consciousness in a housefire Friday on Providence Avenue. -- Ashley Johnson

Fire fighters revive family pet

Published 9:48pm Friday, December 21, 2012

No people were hurt in the housefire at the Providence Avenue home of Sonya Gooden Friday, but the Selma Fire Department had to rescue the family pit bull that was trapped inside a smoky bedroom.

Selma Fire Department Capt. Coley Byrd said when they arrived, shortly after 9:30 a.m., they were able to put the fire out, which started in the kitchen, and Gooden told the firefighters her 60 pound pit bull “A.J.” was trapped somewhere inside.

“The door was closed [so no fire reached the room A.J. was in,] but of course there was a lot of smoke that still got back there,” Byrd said. “He was laying next to the bed in the back room and was just barely breathing, but we brought him outside and used an air pipe to push some air in his face and give him a little bit of water.”

Firefighter Lanny Harrison was the man to revive the unresponsive canine.

“He inhaled a lot of smoke, and it knocked him out. When I got to him he wasn’t responding at all,” Harrison said. “When I first got to him his eyes were rolling back in his head, and he wasn’t responding, [he had] short, shallow breathes.”

Harrison said A.J. appeared to have fully recovered.

“They just have to take him to the vet and get him checked out,” he said.

Gooden said what scared her most was the fact that once the fire started, she couldn’t find her dog.

“I was cooking and I just laid down. I’m on third shift and I laid down and the next thing I know the fire was everywhere and I just tried to put it out,” Gooden explained. “Then I thought about the dog, but he got away from me. I thought, let me just dial 911, and then I could never find the dog. That’s what scared me the most that I couldn’t find him. I didn’t know which way he went.”

With Christmas less than a week away Gooden is still looking forward to the holidays, and she said thankfully she has another home in town.

“Thank God we do have a family house,” she said. “We’re not homeless, but it’s hard giving your kids that phone call.”

Gooden said after A.J. was revived by the fire department she planned to take him to a veterinarian to get him checked out.

“I’m still just glad to be alive, and thank God my kids weren’t here,” she said crying. “So I guess I’m still blessed.”

Capt. Byrd said they see many so many fires during this time of year.

“People using electric heaters, leave stuff too close to it, and it catches on fire. So many people use all different sources of heat this time of the year and if you have anything too close to it, it will definitely catch on fire after a while,” he warned. “We see a lot of fires in the winter.”

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