Dog bites NY firefighter in face at house fire

Two dogs were rescued from the fire, including the one that bit a firefighter, and three other dogs died in the blaze

Catie O'Toole

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A Syracuse family called 911 Sunday night after they realized their house was on fire.

Syracuse firefighters arrived in less than two minutes of the 8:51 p.m. 911 call, but the house at 412 Elm St. was already ablaze.

One of the first firefighters on scene was heading inside to help fight the fire when he encountered a dog who appeared scared, a few feet from the door. The firefighter tried to coax the dog to get it to safety, but the dog lunged at the firefighter and bit him in the face, Syracuse Deputy Fire Chief John Kane said.

The injured firefighter was taken to urgent care, where he was treated for puncture wounds to the face and released around midnight, Kane said.

Syracuse firefighters had a bulk of the fire extinguished in about 20 minutes, but crews remained on scene for a few hours continuing to put out “hot spots,” or small fires that reignited, Kane said. They also spent quite a bit of time placing large tarps on the first floor to try and save furniture and other items, he said.

Three dogs were killed in the fire; two other dogs survived, he said.

The fire, which started in a second-floor bedroom, caused extensive damage to the single-family home, Kane said.

The American Red Cross is helping the family, providing one adult and four children with financial assistance for shelter, food and clothing, said Abigail Adams, chief communications officer for the Eastern New York Region of the American Red Cross.

“Volunteers also offered emotional support and comfort kits containing personal care items and stuffed animals for the children,” she said. “In the coming days, Red Cross staff and volunteers will remain available to help those affected by the fire as they navigate the road to recovery.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


(c)2020 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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