Napa firefighters save dog from house fire, credits quick action of ret. fire captain

- A chocolate Labrador Retriever in Napa is doing well after he was pulled from a burning home on Monday and resuscitated with a special canine oxygen mask firefighters recently received as a donation.

On Monday morning, even before the first 911 call was made, retired firefighter and Napa Councilman Scott Sedgley was on scene battling the fire at a home on Sheridan Drive.   

The councilman happened to be driving through the area, noticed smoke from the home, and quickly sprung into action, according to Capt. Steve Becker.

Sedgley told neighbors to call 911 and managed to open a back slider door to free one of two dogs trapped inside the home.

He then grabbed a hose found on the property and sprayed it through a window to slow down the fire.

Capt. Becker noted that a garden hose typically would not make a huge impact on a house fire like this, but the retired firefighter obviously knew how to work it. 

"He took action on fire... He knew what to do. A 30 year veteran, he had it down," Becker said.

Once fire crews arrived, firefighters knocked a hole in the roof of the structure to release the smoke and heat, and they then conducted a search of the home.

The visibility was poor due to the heavy smoke, but about five minutes into their search, they found 5-year-old lab Max in the living room. He was unresponsive and unconscious.

The dog was pulled from the home and taken outside where firefighters placed what they call a "Fido Bag" pet oxygen mask over the animal's muzzle.

The mask was donated to the fire department by The Fetch Foundation only about a month ago, and firefighters say the device saved the dog's life.

"They successfully resuscitated Max to breath on his own," Beaker said.

Neighbors and Max's owner took him to a nearby veterinarian hospital to be evaluated.

On Tuesday, the Napa Fire Department posted a photo of Max and one of his rescuers, firefighter Ryan Chagonjian, who had gone to the vet hospital to check on the animal. The post read, "Max is doing well and is in good sprits." 

While the home has been deemed uninhabitable because of the fire, it was not destroyed.

The situation could have been a lot worse, according to Becker, and he credits the actions of his former colleague who did not hesitate to jump into action.

"The fire was knocked down in less than two minutes upon arrival, thanks to the effort of retired captain Sedgley," Becker said. "30 years on the job, and he hasn't lost it."

Councilman Sedgley, retired from Napa Fire in 2011.

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