ALTON - Alton Fire Department Battalion Chief Derek Richardson expressed some strong pride for how a group of firefighters handled an early Friday morning fire/rescue situation on Hillcrest.

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“We were dispatched to a house fire on Hillcrest at 12:17 a.m. Friday,” he said. “Dispatch reported Alton Police were on scene, and two people were reported to occupy the house, along with three dogs. When I arrived on scene, I saw Alton Police Department escorting the second occupant out of the house. The first occupant had already made it out. Neither occupant needed emergency medical treatment.

“It was reported by the Alton Police Department and bystanders that one of the dogs ran out of the house and down the street before Alton Fire arrived on the scene. After extinguishing the fire, the Alton Fire Department members did a secondary search, and crew members Engineers Sissom, Pruitt, and P. Campion found and rescued both dogs. Both dogs needed help breathing. AFD crew members Eng. Morse, Eng. Sherman, FF Blaesing, and FF Munie attended and treated the dogs by giving them oxygen. AFD crew members Engineers Sissom and Pruitt transported the dogs to Hawthorn Animal Hospital in Glen Carbon for further treatment.”

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The homeowner’s nephew was asleep in the basement and the female owner upstairs when a neighbor noticed the smoke and came to wake her. The nephew was downstairs with his door locked and initially did not come out until firefighters knocked in his door, in essence saving his life.

He was very thankful to the firefighters and the neighbor for what they did in those tense moments. He also said the two rescued dogs were at Hawthorn Animal Hospital and one dog who ran away came back on Friday.

Richardson concluded with a statement that summed up everyone’s sentiments about what the firefighters did early Friday morning in their rescue and efforts to battle the fire.

“The firefighters did a great job extinguishing the fire and rescuing the dogs,” he said.

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