FDNY, Good Samaritan, veterinarians save cat after deadly apartment fire
NEW YORK – Doctors from Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group, a specialty and emergency veterinary hospital group with two locations in Brooklyn, are treating a cat that was rescued from a deadly apartment fire early Sunday morning.
The adult female cat was rushed to VERG-North Emergency Services at approximately 2 a.m. by a neighbor, and veterinarians have been treating her injuries since. The cat named Brigitte Jones is believed to have belonged to the lone victim of a third-floor apartment fire at 94th St. near Shore Rd. in Bay Ridge.
According to the Laura DiPaola, the Good Samaritan and neighbor who brought Brigitte to VERG, FDNY firefighters rescued the cat from the blaze.
“When the firefighters brought her out of the building she looked dead. Her mouth was dangling open and she was covered in black soot from the fire. They immediately put a child-size oxygen mask over her face and tried to give her water,” said DiPaola. “Once firefighters and EMTs realized she was still alive, I offered to take her to VERG in my car. My partner is a veterinarian and actually performed her internship at VERG, so I knew exactly where she needed to go.”
Upon arrival, Brigitte displayed an elevated breathing rate and abnormal audible respiration, presumably caused by inflammation from smoke inhalation. To treat Brigitte’s condition, emergency doctors administered oxygen and airway-opening medication. X-rays of the patient revealed beginning stages of infection within the lungs, which is currently being treated with antibiotics.
“We are thankful to the emergency responders and Good Samaritans who were able to rescue Brigitte and get her the help she needed. She is lucky to be alive,” said Dr. Jillian DiFazio, a board-certified emergency and critical care specialist at VERG. “Even after escaping from a fire, pets are often prone to developing infection and even pneumonia. Thankfully, Brigitte has responded well to treatment and we expect her to make a full-recovery.”
Because of the loss of Brigitte’s owner during the fire, Brigitte’s medical expenses are being covered by Positive Tails, a local 501(c)3 non-for-profit group dedicated to providing critical assistance to animals and people in need.
To donate to help cover the cost of Brigitte’s medical expenses and help other pets like her, visit https://www.positivetails.org/