Maryland firefighters rescue pets from apartment fire; officials say cat, guinea pig are 'in good health'

Firefighters and paramedics rushed to respond to a balcony fire at an apartment complex in Elkridge

Firefighters in Maryland recently extinguished an apartment fire and rescued two pets in the process. No one was injured in the blaze, and the animals are now said to be in good health.

Around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, firefighters and paramedics from the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) rushed to respond to a balcony fire at an apartment complex in Elkridge.

Firefighters and paramedics from the HCDFRS rushed to respond to a balcony fire at an apartment complex in Elkridge on Aug. 25.

Firefighters and paramedics from the HCDFRS rushed to respond to a balcony fire at an apartment complex in Elkridge on Aug. 25. (Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services)

All residents had been evacuated prior to the first responders’ arrival, the department said in a release shared to Facebook.

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All residents had been evacuated prior to the first responders’ arrival, the department said

All residents had been evacuated prior to the first responders’ arrival, the department said (Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services)

The three-story, garden-style complex was up in flames when they got to the scene, with heavy smoke and fire billowing from the rear from the structure.

“Immediately, HCDFRS began to get the fire under control but the fire quickly reached the roof and all personnel evacuated the structure and pivoted to a defensive strategy putting water on the fire from the outside,” the department said.

The three-story, garden-style complex was up in flames when first responders arrived at the scene, with heavy smoke and fire billowing from the rear from the structure.

The three-story, garden-style complex was up in flames when first responders arrived at the scene, with heavy smoke and fire billowing from the rear from the structure. (Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services)

“While still actively fighting the fire, HCDFRS successfully rescued 1 cat and 1 guinea pig and supported their breathing with Pet Oxygen Masks,” they continued. “To our knowledge, they are both in good health.”

About two hours later, the fire was extinguished; there were no fire department injuries.

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About two hours later, the fire was extinguished; there were no fire department injuries.

<br data-cke-eol="1"> About two hours later, the fire was extinguished; there were no fire department injuries. (Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services)

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Facebook commenters thanked the first responders for their bravery in fighting the fire and saving the animals.

Facebook commenters thanked the first responders for their bravery in fighting the fire and saving the animals. (Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services)

One building resident was evaluated for smoke inhalation, and about 15 residents have been displaced because of the blaze.

The HCDFRS Office of the Fire Marshal is investigating the origin and cause of the incident.

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Facebook commenters thanked the first responders for their bravery in fighting the fire and saving the animals.

“Prayers for the residents who were impacted. Thank you HCFD for being a great asset to our community!” one wrote.

“Thank you for saving these animals lives,” another agreed.

“Great work and prayers go out to the families (and pets) displaced. How can we help??” one asked.