By Tamas Mondovics

One would think that the news of a house fire, which destroyed nearly the entire structure, would bring much sadness to the occupants and their friends and family.

However, a recent house fire and a tiny member of the family affected by the flames shows that often such incidents and accidents can actually stir the emotions in a positive way in all those involved.

Thanks to the quick action on the part of local first responders, both the man and the woman living in a mobile home at Ranch Oaks Estates Mobile Home Park located at 11940 Hwy. 301 N. in Thonotosassa as well as their cat, who was resuscitated by a quick-thinking deputy are now all safe.

Early last month, deputies were dispatched to the home of Melanie and David Caffrey. Upon arrival, officials said Melanie was rescued by neighbors, but David was still inside. The home was fully engulfed when Deputy Dustin Hartline and his recruit Deputy Ryan Jones arrived.

Working together, Hartline and Deputy Amanda “Brooke” Talbot used their fire extinguishers while neighbors used a garden hose to try and fight the fire, but to little avail.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue arrived shortly after and battled the fire, eventually making entry and pulled David from the home to safety after which both were transported to Tampa General hospital listed in stable condition.

A job well done was yet to come as HCSO Deputy Talbot, 23, came across one of the resident’s cats, which was unresponsive.

Talbot immediately utilized her infant Ambu bag and successfully resuscitated the tiny cat, after which Hillsborough County Fire Rescue supplied oxygen to the cat, officials said.

To follow up, Talbot contacted BluePearl Veterinary Partners located at 3000 Busch Lake Blvd. in Tampa. Due to the circumstances, Talbot was advised that a vet would evaluate the cat free of charge. One of the neighbors then transported the cat, who is now fine, and will care for it until it can be reunited with the Caffreys.

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