A Santa Monica firefighter who spent 20 minutes performing CPR on a dog that was rescued from a burning apartment Tuesday afternoon has been lauded as a hero for saving his life.
“I discovered him amidst all the smoke and the heat. I grabbed him and as soon as I grabbed him I knew that he was unresponsive just by his dead weight,” firefighter Andrew Klein told Los Angles ABC affiliate ABC 7.
After Klein revived the Bichon Frise/Shih Tzu mix named Nalu, the 10-year-old was fitted with a pet oxygen mask to make sure he was OK.
CBS 7 reported that authorities received a call about the fire on the 1800 block of the single-story apartment on 7th Street around 4 p.m.
Nalu’s owner, Crystal Lamirande, reportedly tried frantically to save her dog but was unable to enter the apartment because the smoke was too thick. According to the New York Post, Klein got down on all fours to search the apartment for Nalu and found him unconscious a few feet from the fire in a bedroom.
On Wednesday, Lamirande posted a message of thanks to the Santa Monica Fire Department’s page:
It took Nalu approximately 24 hours to recover from the smoke inhalation he had suffered. He was placed in an oxygen chamber and “was almost back to his normal self again Thursday,” notes the Post.
Nalu and her owner reportedly lost all of their physical possessions in the fire. But above all, they were grateful for the gift of Nalu’s life.
Nalu and Klein were reunited on Thursday.
“To have a success story just like this, even with Nalu being a dog, I mean again he’s a life and he’s a life that matters,” Klein told ABC 7. “That was just a great morale booster for all of the guys here in our department.”