Local News

Heat-sensitive camera helps save dogs trapped in house fire

Posted July 26, 2012 2:14 p.m. EDT
Updated July 26, 2012 6:52 p.m. EDT

— Thermal imaging is being credited for saving the lives of three dogs trapped inside a burning home in Roanoke Rapids.

A grease fire started in the kitchen of Jamie Marshall's home while she was out with her family Friday night.

Neighbors called 911, and when firefighters arrived, Teddy, a cocker spaniel, ran out of the house immediately.

"The smoke was so thick, the guys couldn't really find the dogs at that time," Roanoke Rapids Fire Battalion Chief Jason Patrick said Thursday.

But neighbors told firefighters that three other dogs were in the house.

One dog, Sidney, an Australian cattle dog-mix, was hiding under a bed.

Patrick said they would not have been able to rescue the dogs without the thermal imaging camera.

The device works by picking up differences in heat, including body heat.

The Roanoke Rapids Fire Department has two of the thermal imaging cameras, which are valued at approximately $5,000 each.

"Possibly, the outcome would not have been as good if we hadn't had it," Patrick said.

Marshall and her family are making repairs to their home and hope to be able to move back in very soon.

Meanwhile, the dogs are healthy, and Marshall, a veterinarian, says she is grateful for that.

"They're part of the family," she said.