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Irmo firefighters helped rescue over 20 animals in one night

Wednesday night, firefighters with the Irmo Fire District rescued over 20 animals from two different house fires.

IRMO, S.C. — Firefighters with Irmo Fire District never know what will happen when they go on a call.

Wednesday night, they rescued over 20 animals from two different house fires.

“The first fire was a small garage fire and there were four dogs in the house," Assistant Chief Sloane Valentino told Street Squad. "Three were easy to find and the fourth one was a little difficult for us locate. Turns out, he was in the garage the whole time watching all the action.”

Credit: Irmo Fire District
Atlas, one of the dogs rescued by Irmo Fire Wednesday night

Not long after, crews responded to a kitchen fire in the area.“They had 16 birds in there and three cats. They were worried about getting out of the smoke so as we’re rolling up, he keeps coming out of the house with cages of birds.”

This isn't the team's first time dealing with pets in distress. “It's not unusual to involve animals ... car accidents, structure fires, even when we go on medical aids, we’re always taking care of the animals," Valentino says. 

RELATED: 'It had been fighting for its life': Irmo Firefighters save bird from fishing line

Just in the past few years, Irmo Fire District has rescued quite a few different species from different situations. Assistant Chief Ben Smith told us, “We got a call about a great blue heron that had fishing line wrapped around it, during some floods there was a 150-pound tortoise that we had to help the homeowner lift into a carrier so they could get it out of the backyard.”

The guys even kept an eye on dog after a car accident sent his owner to the hospital.

RELATED: Donation of pet oxygen masks help Irmo Fire's chances of saving pets from fires

RELATED: Irmo pond wiped out after heavy rains

“People consider their pets part of the family almost like humans," Smith says. "We just go into the life-saving mode to try and find them and pull them out.”

If you have any story ideas or information on things happening around town, contact us at StreetSquad@wltx.com or tweet us using the hashtag #StreetSquad19.