Pet sitter's home catches fire (w/video)
Video: Live at a house fire on Vine street
Pet rescue equipment
Breathing masks for pets were donated to the Victoria Fire Department by an organization called Invisible Fence as part of the brand's Project Breathe. The fire department received five kits - one for each truck. The masks are designed to ...
- SHOW ALL »
Pet rescue equipment
Breathing masks for pets were donated to the Victoria Fire Department by an organization called Invisible Fence as part of the brand's Project Breathe. The fire department received five kits - one for each truck. The masks are designed to fit around the snout of an animal. "They look more like a standard cup than a breathing mask," Victoria Fire Marshal Thomas Legler said. Each kit has three masks in a range of sizes. At one point during Thursday's fire, four masks were used. The masks are reusable and have had a high success rate so far, Legler said.
Victoria's "fairy dog mother" experienced her worst nightmare Thursday when a fire broke out in her home.
Heidi Uresti-Sanchez, a professional pet sitter, was not at home when the fire began. After being called, she rushed home to find Victoria firefighters administering oxygen to four dogs and a cat in front of her house in the 1700 block of North Vine Street.
Firefighters could not resuscitate one black house cat named Ben. The cat that died belonged to Uresti-Sanchez's family.
No humans were injured in the house fire.
Uresti-Sanchez's neighbor, Rachel Trevino, was alerted to the fire when a passer-by knocked on her door.
"She said, 'I think your neighbor's house is on fire,'" Trevino said.
Trevino called 911 and Uresti-Sanchez to notify them of the fire at 9:20 a.m. Uresti-Sanchez told Trevino there were animals in the home.
"She said get in there," Trevino said.
Together, Trevino and the passer-by broke the front windows of the home in an attempt to save the animals.
The fire department arrived shortly afterward, Trevino said.
Trevino described Uresti-Sanchez as "the truest of animal lovers."
Shaken at the scene, Uresti-Sanchez declined to comment Thursday.
The fire department found four dogs and two cats in the home, Assistant Chief Tracy Fox said. In addition to the cat that died, firefighters think a seventh animal escaped out the back of the house.
"My heart truly goes out to them," said Erin Hatley, a family friend and client of Uresti-Sanchez. "They're just a sweet, sweet, giving family that would literally drop anything for anybody else."
Uresti-Sanchez refers to the pets in her care as her "furbabies," Hatley said. And close friends of Uresti-Sanchez call her "the fairy dog mother."
Firefighters administered oxygen to the cats and dogs with special masks designed for pets.
No visible flames were present when the fire department arrived. It appeared the fire began in the kitchen area. Damage to the home and the cause of the fire have not yet been determined, Fox said.