Boo the cat has been reunited with his owners after a close call in an Elk River house fire, thanks to specially trained firefighters.
Firefighters responded to the fire at 11:21 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, in the 18000 block of Rawlins Street.
Elk River Fire Chief T. John Cunningham said the first arriving units found a fully involved fire engulfing an attached garage, and the fire was quickly spreading to the rest of the house. Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control.
Cunningham said the homeowners safely evacuated the building but their cat, Boo, could not be located. Firefighters found Boo in the lower level of the house and he was rushed outside, where he received immediate medical care.
In 2014, the Elk River Fire and Police departments received specialized training on animal rescue and first aid, Cunningham said. Firefighters were also provided with a specialized first aid kit for providing medical care to animals.
Basic Animal Rescue Training had provided the training and equipment. The organization’s mission is “to empower firefighters and other first responders to be prepared and equipped to address pets and livestock encountered in emergencies and disasters. BART serves to honor the human-animal bond and preserve human health, safety and well-being.”
The July 4 fire is the first fire response in which this kit has been deployed in Elk River. After receiving oxygen and a lot of attention, Boo was reunited with his family, Cunningham said.
The Big Lake Fire Department assisted at the scene and the Zimmerman/Livonia Fire District provided citywide coverage during the incident.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.