CORVALLIS, Ore. — Five pets are safe after a fire destroyed a large portion of a Corvallis home Wednesday afternoon, and the owners say if it were not for the firefighters who rescued their pets, the animals would likely not be alive.
When Rick Miller was driving home Wednesday afternoon, he could not get through to to his house, because part of NE Elliott Circle was blocked off.
“So I told them: ‘Well I live up there,'” Miller said.
There was a fire.
“I asked them which house it was and he told me,” Miller said through tears. “And it was my house.”
Miller knew his wife and son were not home, so they were safe.
“But I knew my pets were still inside.”
Miller’s family has two dogs and three cats: all trapped inside the house. When he got to the house, firefighters told him that staff members from All Creatures Great and Small, a veterinary clinic down the road, had picked up the animals to make sure they were alright. A firefighter also revived one of the dogs with oxygen.
If it were not for firefighters and the veterinary clinic, the Millers are not sure their pets would still be alive.
“We’re very grateful to the fire department for saving our animals and our house,” Miller said. “And for the veterinarian. Because it could have been a lot worse and we were very lucky.”
Firefighters rescued four of the five animals. The Millers found the fifth pet early Thursday morning: a cat, hiding in one of the closets in the house. Safe.
The Millers expect all five of their pets to be just fine.
As for the house – that’s a different story.
“It’s quite a mess,” Miller said as he looked around the broken glass, torn up insulation that covers the floor, and smoke-damaged walls.
Fire crews are still investigating the cause of the fire, but the house is facing thousands of dollars worth of damage.
“It’s a lot of damage, but at least we didn’t lose it totally,” Miller said.
For now, the Millers are staying in their trailer on site with their pets. They will face a different lifestyle until they are able to make the needed repairs to move back in. Miller says he will be working with his insurance company to hire a contractor to reconstruct part of the 102-year-old house. He does not know how long it will take before the family can move back in, but he hopes it will be before winter arrives.
“I’m ordering a generator and I have to order a port-a-potty,” Sherril Miller said, Rick’s wife.
Despite the rough bumps ahead, the family is forever grateful to its veterinarian and to the firefighters who saved their pets.