On Last Day, North Carolina Firefighter Rescues Family Dog from Fire

Photos and story by Bob Bartosz

On February 18, 2014, at 4:31 PM, City of Rocky Mount (NC) Fire Department (RMFD) firefighters were dispatched to a residential structure fire at 509 Drexel Rd. Upon arrival, fire crews found a single-story home with moderate brown smoke coming from the exterior windows and doors in Divisions C and D.

Engine 3 personnel established command, secured a 5-inch water supply, and deployed a 1 ¾-inch attack line. Engine 6 personnel arrived on scene, deployed a 1 ¾-inch backup line, and assisted with interior fire attack and search. Rescue 2 personnel arrived and established positive pressure ventilation and manned the backup line. No one was home at the time of the fire, but the family dog was still inside the residence. Fire attack crew Captain Joe Vindigni quickly located the dog and handed him out to Ladder 30 firefighter Cameron Joyner, who initiated resuscitation efforts. Ladder 30 personnel made several attempts to revive the dog but after 25 minutes they were unsuccessful. All  RMFD units have pet oxygen mask and resuscitation bag Kits

Ladder 10 arrived on scene and established a RIT. Engine 4 responded to the scene and staged for a possible assignment to support on-scene crews. Fire crews were able to bring the fire under control with 20 minutes. Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the rear of the home and the attic. The home suffered extensive fire damage in the kitchen area and moderate smoke damage throughout the remainder of the home. Nash County EMS responded and assisted with rehab for on-scene personnel. No firefighters or civilians were injured during the fire.

RMFD Fire Marshal’s Office responded to assist with the investigation. The cause of the fire appears to be cooking related. Two adults were displaced as a result of the fire. The Red Cross was able to provide housing assistance for the occupants.

Captain Vindigni was working his last day as a Rocky Mount firefighter after 11 years. He will be  starting his new job later this week  as Deputy Fire Chief of the Hendersonville (NC) Fire Department.  “I wished we could have saved the dog,” Vindigni said. “It does add some sadness  but we tried our best.”

See more pics from this fire HERE.


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