A dog rescued from a California fire has survived thanks to a firefighter who performed CPR on the animal.
"I thank him from the bottom of my heart," Crystal Lamirande, the dog's owner told ABC News today. "I said, 'I can't believe how much time you spent on this dog.' In reality, I still can't believe they brought him back."
On Tuesday, March 21, Lamirande, 35, a Santa Monica resident, left her home in the afternoon to go to her local coffee shop. When she returned, her home was engulfed in flames, she said.
Lamirande's dog Nalu, a 15-pound, 10-year-old bichon frise and shih tzu mix, was trapped inside. She and her neighbor attempted to enter the property to rescue him, but the smoke was too intense, Lamirande recalled.
"He's basically my child, so I normally don't go places without him but this time I did, and felt so guilty," Lamirande said.
When Santa Monica firefighters arrived at the scene, Lamirande told them Nalu was inside.
"If I hadn't gotten there at that moment to tell him about the dog, they would've just put the fire out because that's their first priority. [The firefighter] went so above and beyond."
Nalu was found unresponsive. Lamirande said firefighter Andrew Klein administered mouth-to-snout resuscitation for 20 minutes.
"After 20 minutes, the dog began breathing on its own and regained consciousness, even regaining the ability to walk around," the Santa Monica Fire Department wrote in a press release.
The fire department added that it took 23 firefighters 10 minutes to bring the fire under control. No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported, and the department's investigators are working to determine the cause of the blaze.
Soon after the pet was revived, neighbors drove Lamirande and Nalu to VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital.
Lamirande lost her home, but said she is happy to have found a new apartment and that her dog is OK.
"The fact that they were able to bring him back was such a miracle, so who cares about stuff?" Lamirande said.
Lamirande on Thursday took Nalu to the fire station to visit the firefighters who saved his life.