By: Christine Souders
Firefighters tell you once you're outside a burning building, don't go back inside, but what if you've left behind a pet?
Firefighters said there's a way to give your furry friends a fighting chance.
Charlie and Sparky were a big part of the Smith's family, but sadly, a Mother's Day fire in DeWitt, it was too late for firefighters to rescue them.
Jessica Smith, is the pet owner, and told us it's an awful thing to go through, but firefighters said simply shutting a door could be the difference between life and death.
"The little bit of smoke that may get under the door maybe enough that they can stay high enough, where they're not sitting out in a living room, big room where a fire can happen, and they're going to get instant smoke inhalation," said DeWitt Fire Chief Bob Sandry.
Chief Sandry said knowing how many pets that are inside a burning home is helpful, when time is of the essence.
There are Pet Alert stickers you can put on your window, which indicate how many pets you have inside your home, but firefighters said the stickers aren't always a sure thing, because often times pet owners forget to update them, or in the case of the DeWitt fire, the windows were already blown out before they got to the scene.
Firefighters didn't know Charlie and Sparky were inside, until Smith got there, and Chief Sandry said a sticker is better than nothing, "It is one of these things that's great to have indicators, and for what a sticker costs it is pretty minimal."
And when something tragedy happens, Smith said it teaches you not to take your pets for granted.
"Every time you see them, give them that kiss goodbye, and talk to them, and pet them. Just don't hurry out of the house, because you don't know if you're going to come back to them,"said Smith.