Five Puppies Rescued Beneath Van Buren County Home During Fire

VAN BUREN COUNTY, Ark. - "Oh, we get quite a few grass or brush fires," Jerry Pico says while circling a burned-down home in Van Buren county.

Rusted nails poke through charred door frames. Melted shingles droop over a disappearing roof.

"Being out in a rural area, we don't normally save a lot of property," Pico says.

The Burnt Ridge Volunteer Fire Chief says Saturday's blaze -- at first -- looked it would continue that trend.

Martha Addington was in her living room when flames sparked.

 "I went and grabbed quite a few clothes I had," Addington says.

She got out unharmed.

But, it's what firefighters discovered during those tense moments that made this rescue something to bark about.

"They were born under my house," Addington says.

"They were - looked to be huddled up together," Pico says.

Pico and his men pulled out five newborn puppies, hiding beneath the floorboards.

"We located them with a thermal camera under the house," Pico says.

"And, we ended up cutting a hole in the floor to where we could see them."

One by one, the pups were removed and shuffled from firefighter to firefighter.

"One of them wanted to...take one home ya know," Pico says.

"I said, 'Well they're not our puppies.'"

The homeowner didn't even know the dogs were there.

"They looked pretty good really," Pico says.

Good enough to pose for several photos -- marking the final fire of the year for this crew.

And, a career first for Pico.

"That's really what it's all about," Pico says.

The firefighters and Addington said they might look into finding someone interested in adopting the dogs.

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