Yesterday while traveling the 42N countryside to photograph the Fall harvest, the 42N team came upon Olin, a small town in eastern Iowa at 41.99N, 91.14W. A thick black column of smoke and flames was coming out of a home. We arrived on the scene to find the home owner and kids standing away from the burning garage and home. We lent cell phone assistance to her while the sirens grew louder.
Fire crews from Olin, and nearby Stanwood and Morley communities arrived with several fire fighting trucks, ambulances and support personnel. Mom said that all her kids were out of the home but their three-legged pet dog was still inside.
Crews assembled portable pools of water, filled by tanker trucks to fight the fire. Tanker trucks from other fire departments arrived and filled the pools as there were no close fire hydrants. While this activity unfolded in a span of an hour, fire crews eventually got the garage fire extinguished and stabilized the attached house. About 45 minutes into the situation the home owner asked again about the dog. A fire fighter had searched earlier for the dog but depleted his oxygen supply and was forced to retreat.
Another crew went inside the house and located the dog under something (I didn't hear where.) That defensive action by the dog probably helped save its life. The pet was carried out wrapped in a blue towel - he or she wasn't moving. Many observers thought the worst. Fire fighters brought the dog to the rescue team for oxygen. The home owner (in the white shirt above) saw the rescue procedure and raced over. She knelt close to her dog and talked to him/her while oxygen pumped through the dog's nose.
Finally the dog's tail began to wag and minutes later the three legged pet lifted itself up. This was certainly a positive highlight of the situation among the other points of no loss of human life or injury. The State Fire Marshall has been called in to help determine what happened. News accounts are recorded here and here. When news breaks out - your 42N reporter is there. Know that.
UPDATE: 10/8/2010 - Read the latest request for supplies from the sister of the home owner. Click here.