March 24 (UPI) -- A California firefighter was caught on camera using mouth-to-snout resuscitation to revive a dog that inhaled too much smoke in an apartment building fire.
The Santa Monica Fire Department responded about 4 p.m. Tuesday to an apartment building where a fire was reported inside a unit.
Firefighters said they were able to contain the flames to the apartment's kitchen and storage area, and firefighter Andrew Klein found the resident's dog unresponsive while searching the domicile for victims.
"I discovered him amidst all the smoke and the heat. I grabbed him and as soon as I grabbed him I knew that he was unresponsive just by his dead weight," Klein told WABC-TV.
Klein brought the dog, a 10-year-old Bichon Frize/Shih Tzu mix named Nalu, outside and immediately started performing CPR on the pet.
The firefighter performed rescue breaths on the canine for 20 minutes until the dog was able to breathe with a pet-sized oxygen mask. Photos of the rescue were captured by local photographer Billy Fernando and shared on the department's Facebook page.
Nalu's owner, Crystal Lamirande, 35, said Nalu is recovering well after the rescue. The dog and owner paid a visit to the fire station Thursday.
"Our goal is to save people, and sometimes we're not able to do that despite our best efforts. But to have a success story just like this, even with Nalu being a dog, I mean again he's a life and he's a life that matters. That was just a great morale booster for all of the guys here in our department," Klein said.
Lamirande said in thanking firefighters on Facebook that Nalu is "back from the dead."
"He is so thankful he is alive even though all his clothes are severely smoke damaged!!!! Thank you thank you thank you," she wrote.