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October 04. 2013 12:13PM

Scared dog bites firefighter during house fire in Nashua

NASHUA - A firefighter was bitten by a dog on Friday while trying to rescue pets from a burning building on West Hollis Street.

Although one dog perished in the blaze at 94 1/2 W. Hollis St., two other dogs and a guinea pig were saved -- including the English bulldog that bit a city firefighter, according to one of the occupants of the two-family home.

Everyone managed to escape the fire, however a girl was treated for minor smoke inhalation, said residents.

"I was woken up by the fire alarms. All of the smoke detectors were ringing," said Enslie Rockwell, who lives on the second floor of the home where the fire broke out around 8 a.m. on Friday.

Rockwell said he made sure everyone was awake and out of the building before he went back inside to try to find his three English bulldogs. Rockwell was able to grab one of the dogs, along with a fire extinguisher, before having to exit because of the heat.

Before fire crews arrived, Rockwell said he was using a garden hose to spray water into a second floor window where the fire was visible.

Once on the scene, a firefighter was able to save one of the two remaining dogs, but he was bitten in the neck during the ordeal, according to occupants, who said the firefighter was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

"The poor dog was scared to death," said Karen Dudley, emergency services volunteer with the American Red Cross. The dog was taken to the local humane society, she added.

According to residents of the home, all of the dogs were current with their rabies shots.

Rockwell's family of four is displaced because of the fire, while the occupants of the lower level are still able to reside in the house. The Red Cross is providing temporary housing for the Rockwells at a local motel.

"It is salvageable," said Rockwell, whose face was still covered in black soot from trying to save his dog. "I am fine. I will be alright."

He believes the fire started when glass from a burning candle shattered. Fire officials were not immediately available to comment on the blaze.

A portion of West Hollis Street was temporarily closed while fire crews battled the fire on Friday morning.

khoughton@newstote.com




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