North Smithfield resident Joe Belliveau holds his dog, Chloe, a Golden Doodle, outside his mother's nearby home on Thursday afternoon. Chloe's life was saved by firefighters after a lightning strike engulfed Belliveauâs home at 4 Pine Lane in flames on Wednesday evening. The home is considered a total loss. (photo/Ernest A. Brown)
NORTH SMITHFIELD â The secluded house at 4 Pine Lane was so thoroughly engulfed in flames Wednesday that North Smithfield Fire Chief Joel Jillson was sure he wasnât going to be sending any firefighters inside.
Then his crew heard a dog whimpering.
After being told there were no people in the house, Jillson now had a terrible decision to make. Should he send firefighters into a veritable inferno to try to save the life of a family pet?
âWe could hear the dog faintly whining early on in the effort,â Jillson recalled. âWhen you commit people to save a dog, thatâs a touchy decision.â
But commit, he did, and soon a group of firefighters was traversing through the blaze to rescue Chloe, a Golden Doodle, from certain death.
She was already unconscious when firefighters pulled her from the smokey fire. Three firefighters, Capt. Normand Malboeuf, Lt. David Mowry and Eric Lambert, took turns giving mouth-to-snout resuscitation and managed to revive the dog.
Read more in our print edition.