herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Family thank 'extraordinary' fire crew for saving their dogs in blaze

Elidas and wife Elvyra with Chance and Bucci who were saved by brave firemen Picture: Gerry Mooney
Elidas and wife Elvyra with Chance and Bucci who were saved by brave firemen Picture: Gerry Mooney

Two pet dogs survived a blaze that destroyed a first-floor apartment, thanks to firefighters.

Yorkshire terriers Chance and Bucci owe their lives to Dublin Fire Brigade and the vets who treated them for free at the Hillcrest Veterinary Hospital and University College Dublin (UCD).

Owners Elidas Kekys (36), an IT worker, and his wife Elvyra Kekiene (32), a store manager, expressed their gratitude to everyone who helped save them.

The incident happened at the couple's apartment in Waterville, Blanchardstown, when they took their daughter, Ieva (3), for a doctor's appointment, leaving a dehumidifier on.

"We came back about two hours later and the whole apartment was on fire. It was an electrical fire, we think, started by a dehumidifier fault," said Kekys.

"I told a fireman that the dogs were inside, but they couldn't find them.

"I said to try looking under the bed. I have a friend who's a fireman and he said that's where dogs hide.

"They went back and they found them under the bed. They were both unconscious but still breathing."

After getting the dogs out, the firefighters gave them oxygen before they were transferred to the veterinary hospital in Coolmine.

"The dogs were not in good shape," said Mr Kekys.

Bucci made a good recovery after two days, but Chance was still fighting for his life.

The dogs were transferred to UCD where they received specialist care and are now home with the family, who have moved to Sandymount.

Bravery

Mr Kekys said they wanted to thank the firefighters for their bravery and the staff at Hillcrest and UCD for an "extraordinary job".

He said vet Fiona O'Leary cared for the dogs at her home on the first night and, singled out Stephanie Larkin and Mark Coulter for special praise.

"We felt we had to keep those dogs alive as they were all the family had left after losing their home," said Ms O'Leary.

"Luckily, all five of them from the family are still around."

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