Rio Rancho firefighters calm a dog as they administer oxygen to it through a pet-mask to treat smoke inhalation Sunday at the scene of an apartment fire on Darlene Road. The dog recovered, as did another one rescued. Courtesy of Rio Rancho Fire Rescue Department.

Rio Rancho firefighters saved two dogs and several hamsters from two structure fires in the space of less than 13 hours last week.
Rio Rancho Fire Chief Paul Bearce said crews were called to an apartment fire on Darlene Road about 8:30 p.m. Sunday. They found heavy smoke and flames coming from the apartment when they arrived and discovered the fire coming from the kitchen when they entered.
Bearce said the residents weren’t home when the fire started, but two dogs and two cats were in the apartment.
“Two dogs were pulled from the smoke-filled apartment, with one suffering from smoke inhalation,” he said. “Firefighters used pet-masks to deliver oxygen to the dog.”
City Animal Resource agents took both dogs to the Animal Resources Center, where they recovered.
One cat died, and the other hadn’t been found by Monday afternoon.
“The initial investigation of the fire determined that it was likely accidental and caused by the stove,” Bearce said.
No human injuries were reported, he said, but the family who lived in the apartment was displaced because of the severe smoke and flame damage.
Dr. George Abernathy of Sunrise Veterinary Clinic had donated the pet oxygen masks to RRFR.
Just after 9 a.m. Monday, a manufactured home on 11th Street, just west of Rio Rancho, caught fire.
Bearce said crews saw heavy smoke and flames coming from the interior and roof when they reached the scene. The residents had evacuated, and firefighters rescued several hamsters, he said.
Crews put out the fire, but the home received extensive damage. Bearce said the residents were able to stay with family.
Sandoval County Fire Rescue Department and the state Fire Marshal’s Office investigated the fire because it was outside city limits. No information regarding the cause was available by press time.

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire Monday in a home on 11th Street. Courtesy of Rio Rancho Fire Rescue Department.

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