N.J. Police Officer Is Recovering In Hospital After Saving All Animals In Burning Pet Store

December 16, 2016

A New Jersey police officer has been hailed as a hero after he risked his own life to save dozens of animals from a local pet shop. According to local media, police and fire services were called to the fire at the Route 23 Pet Center in Franklin.

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The police were the first to arrive on the scene, with officers Rafael Burgos and Jeffrey Korger responding to the call. The fire at the business was already well advanced, with visible flames and thick smoke billowing out of the rear of the premises. With no way of knowing if anybody was trapped inside, Officer Burgos fought his way into the shop and conducted a search.

After confirming there were no employees inside, Burgos turned his attention to the frightened animals that were trapped inside cages throughout the store. Thanks to his courage, he was able to save dozens of pets, and a local veterinary hospital has accepted the survivors to treat the smoke inhalation they sustained during the fire.

Burgos sustained smoke inhalation during his heroic rescue and is recovering in the hospital, expected to make a full recovery.

Shortly after Burgos concluded his rescue, crews from the local fire department arrived on the scene and were able to extinguish the blaze.

The staff at the veterinary center has no doubt that without the bravery and quick thinking of Officer Burgos, these animals would have all perished in the fire.

"We've seen many cases of dogs and cats dying in relatively mild house fires," said one of the senior staff at the clinic. "Unlike a human, who can survive some exposure to smoke, the lungs of animals are far smaller and much more susceptible to damage from smoke inhalation. If they'd been stuck in there for just ten or twenty minutes more, it's likely they all would have died."

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