September 23, 2022

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Firefighters say it’s nothing short of a miracle that a dog named Apollo survived a fire on Saturday afternoon that gutted a home in Colchester County.

Neighbours reported the fire in Lower Debert. The homeowners were absent.

When the Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade arrived, the house was ablaze. 

Forty minutes in, firefighter Derek Richard was making his way through the house when he noticed Apollo lying on the kitchen floor. 

Richard pours water on Apollo to keep him cool. (Steve Currie)
First responders are shown at the scene on Saturday afternoon. (Steve Currie)

“He lifted his head, and he kind of sat up,” Richard said, “and I’m like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on here?'”

Richard scooped up the dog and passed him to another firefighter, who took him out of the house. 

“It’s actually a miracle this dog was still alive,” Richard said.

The fire destroyed the home. (Steve Currie)
Apollo is hosed with cool water. (Steve Currie)

Neighbours and paramedics were eager to help Apollo. They helped assess him and poured water on him to keep him cool. Temperatures topped 30 C in the area on Saturday.

When Richard’s air tank ran out of oxygen, he left the house to see Apollo. He said it’s rare for a dog to be able to survive a fire like that.

He said Apollo didn’t seem to be too worked up. He said he was never confrontational.

“It was like he was welcoming the help. You could see it. Like, when I carried him, he was just limp. Like, he let me do whatever I had to do.”

Neighbours and first responders rushed to help Apollo when he was found. (Steve Currie)

Richard knows what it is like to lose a dog. He lost his adopted dog, Bella, earlier this year after caring for her for more than 13 years.

“She was my best friend. You know, anybody who had a dog will tell you that.”

As the firefighters were packing up, the owner returned with Apollo from a vet visit and he was all cleaned up.

“I’m so glad he’s good,” Richard said. “It was so good to see him again there.”

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