Polk County firefighters made sure that no one was left behind when they battled a blaze in Mulberry, Florida last week. Among those successfully saved was this little fellow: a guinea pig named Rodney who belongs to homeowner Kristi Waller.
The fire, Fox 13 News reported, started in the kitchen, when Waller's boyfriend dropped a pan of hot grease in which he was making french fries. Within minutes, the fire spread out of control. Waller, her two daughters and her boyfriend all made it outside safely, but the burning house wasn't yet empty when firefighters arrived at the scene.
According to TODAY, Rodney was spotted when firefighter John Williams conducted a room-to-room sweep of the smoke-filled house. Kevin Watler, a representative from Polk County Fire Rescue, described the scene. "The smoke was thick when Williams came upon the cage of the family pet, Rodney the guinea pig. He did not hesitate. He grabbed the cage and took it outside into the fresh air, where rescue workers assessed that Rodney had inhaled a lot of smoke and gave him oxygen and water."
Rodney was treated for smoke inhalation and given oxygen via a mask made for infants.
Waller praised Williams and his fellow selfless, quick-thinking firefighters.
In a comment left on Polk County Fire Rescue's Facebook page, she wrote,
"I want to, personally, thank you for saving my Rodney (the guinea pig) and what you could of my house. You were all such gentlemen! Understanding that this is your job, and you see such things on a regular basis, you were all so sensitive to my family's situation, and offered to help in any way possible. Thank you all! You should be proud of what you do, and I will forever be thankful to you in my thoughts and prayers!"
Although Waller, her daughters, and Rodney made it to safety, their house was destroyed. The family is currently staying with friends. They have set up aGoFundMe account to help them get back on their feet.