Two guinea pigs were the latest animals to receive oxygen from Smokey Paws pet oxygen masks, following a fire in Sittingboune this morning (Sunday).
Kent Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to the blaze in Kent Avenue at 9.45am and firefighters were on the scene in under five minutes.
The fire is believed to have started after hot ashes from a bonfire the previous evening were left to cool in a container in the garden. This caught alight, spreading to fence panels and a metal garden shed.
Sittingboune Watch Manager, Neil Ryder said: “The shed, was home to pet guinea pigs, Dave and Paul. Fortunately we were able to rescue the pair and use our special pet oxygen masks on them. In no time, they appeared to be acting normally.
“Fire smoke is the real killer, it can suffocate pets before the flames reach them and they often have no means of escape. A few minutes can be the difference between life and death and it’s great to see the benefits of these masks, which are designed specifically for animals. It allows us to give oxygen to much-loved pets, giving them the best possible chance of recovery."
Firefighters used a high pressure hose reel to put the fire out and a special fan to clear smoke from the shed.
Neil added: “Never underestimate radiated heat, ashes that seem cold on the surface may still be hot deep inside, allowing a fire to smoulder and spread.
“If you have a bonfire in your garden, please dispose of the ashes and coals carefully. Douse them with water, put them into a metal container and, once cool, empty them onto bare soil, not into a plastic container or bin.”