Bullmastiff rescued from house fire in Bideford

The scene of the fire in the High Street in Bideford. Pic: Matthew Gilbert. The scene of the fire in the High Street in Bideford. Pic: Matthew Gilbert.

Monday, May 20, 2013
9:42 AM

The 10-stone dog and a cat were rescued as fire fighters tackled the blaze in Bideford High Street.

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A 10-stone bullmastiff was pulled from a burning building on Saturday after a fire broke out at house in Bideford High Street.

Fire crews from Bideford, Appledore and Torrington were scrambled to reports of the fire at around 8pm after receiving numerous calls from the public.

As crews approached the scene, they could see thick, black smoke issuing from the first floor window, said station manager Neil Hole.

“When we arrived the report I had from a neighbour was that six people – four children and two adults – were living in the property and unaccounted for,” he said.

“We had six breathing apparatus wearers in there at one point fighting the fire.

“After about half an hour we realised there were no people in the property and the occupants actually arrived at the scene.

“Crews worked extremely hard controlling the fire which had started in the freezer in the kitchen on the ground floor.

“The fire had then spread to the first floor bedroom.”

While conducting searches of the house, crews rescued a cat, which was treated with oxygen therapy, and discovered the bullmastiff hiding under the stairs.

“The mastiff had found the only place in the house where he would have survived, he was quite lucky,” said Neil.

Bideford High Street was closed until midnight as crews fought the blaze.

The house was approximately 50 per cent damaged by fire and 80-90 per cent damaged by smoke.

“Crews worked really hard to bring the fire under control and conduct search and rescue efforts,” said Neil.

Fire fighters used two hose reel jets and a covering jet to extinguish the fire as well as a thermal imaging camera and a ventilation fan.

Did you witness the fire on Saturday evening? Send your photos to sarah.howells@archant.co.uk

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