A family dog was rescued during a house fire in Bethlehem on Sunday, Aug. 18. 

According to a Barrow County Emergency Services news release, firefighters responded to a fire on Carterdale Court around 4:20 p.m. and found heavy smoke coming from the rear of the house. The residents were attempting to re-enter the home to rescue the dog, which was still in the upstairs bedroom.

Crews instructed the family to not go back in and began an attack on the basement fire. At the same time, another crew entered the residence and made their way upstairs to bedrooms directly over the fire. Firefighters reported heavy smoke in the residence and said the smoke was nearly to the floor, making visibility near zero.

Using a thermal imaging camera (TIC), the crew was able to “see” through the smoke to scan the rooms to search for the dog, the release said. The dog was soon found hiding under a bed and was quickly removed and reunited with her family.

The dog had not inhaled too much smoke, and was unharmed, the release said.

While the majority of the structure was saved, the basement and back side of the home received moderate fire and water damage. Other parts of the home had some smoke damage, but exhaust fans were set up to help evacuate much of the smoke.

“Our crews continually train to rescue victims," BCES public information officer Steve Rose said. "The search techniques and tools used to rescue the dog yesterday could have just as easily been used to rescue a child hiding under a bed. The little dog was a small target to locate in very bad visibility. The successful outcome reiterates that our continuous training and state-of-the art equipment prepares us to provide citizens with top-notch protection."

Fire investigators determined the fire was accidentally started by the improper extinguishment of smoking materials.

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