ST. IGNACE, MI – One person and more than 20 dogs were rescued from a structure fire in the Upper Peninsula on Thanksgiving when an off-duty firefighter quickly responded to the scene.
St. Ignace Fire and Rescue was dispatched around 8:10 p.m. on Nov. 26, to a structure fire with one person inside the residence on the 5500 block of Simmons Road. An off-duty firefighter lives in the area and was first on the scene and entered the burn structure to rescue the victim. Both the firefighter and victim were hospitalized. The firefighter was treated for smoke inhalation and released. The victim’s condition is unknown.
It took firefighters from three departments more than three hours to clear the scene. The cause of the fire has not been released. Brevort Fire, Clark Fire, dStraits EMS, Clark EMS and Mackinac County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene.
More than 20 dogs were rescued from the fire and taken to two local animal shelters and hospitals, while others are on the loose, according to the Mackinac Animal Aid Association, which is one of the shelters caring for the dogs. As of 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, MAAA had 17 dogs and puppies in its care, and six others were at a local animal hospital for burns and other injuries. The shelter was working to catch the remaining dogs.
Mackinac County Animal Shelter is also caring for some of the dogs.
“Please understand these dogs are not up for adoption,” MCAS said in a Facebook post Saturday, Nov. 28. “The owner is in the hospital and we are doing our best to care for them and help them heal from their injuries.”
There were also fire incidents in the past which involved dogs, like a Shiba Inu. Back in 2018, a Shiba dog named Taka survived a house fire, but the tragic event left damages in its face and eyes. Known for its high spirit, a Shiba dog like Taka got back up, underwent training, and now brings comfort to others who have experienced fire incidents.