SHERIDAN — Sheridan’s emergency responders were called to a house fire Saturday. The cause of the blaze at 47 S. Scott St. is still under investigation.
Sheridan Fire-Rescue Capt. Greg Luhman said the approximately 400-square-foot apartment is now uninhabitable, as it sustained 75 percent smoke and heat damage.
Luhman said his department learned about the incident via a rare walk-in report.
“Someone walked in the front door while I was working on the computer and reported smoke coming from the building,” he said, indicating the reporting party noticed the problem while driving by.
The building was across the street from the back entrance of the fire station.
Luhman said firefighters pulled their engine out of the garage, made two right turns, and made a forced entry into the apartment.
“We did the initial knockdown and did a primary search and found a cat,” Luhman said. “It was very lethargic, in bad shape. It was gasping for air.”
SFR responders worked quickly to get help for the feline.
“It appeared as though the cat was still viable to save, so we made efforts to treat it,” he said.
Firefighters took the cat back to the fire station and administered oxygen until an on-call veterinarian from Big Goose Veterinary Clinic arrived. The cat was later transported to the veterinary facility for hospitalization.
The renter of the apartment, who was not home at the time the fire started, arrived on the scene approximately 10 minutes after the firefighters were there.
“His first concern was the cat,” Luhman said, adding the man had left the apartment approximately 45 minutes earlier.
Luhman said follow-up reports from the veterinarian suggest the cat’s condition is improving. As of Monday morning, the cat was playing and doing well.
The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, but Luhman indicated no foul play is suspected. SFR was assisted on the scene by Goose Valley Fire Department, Rocky Mountain Ambulance and the Sheridan Police Department.
Luhman said the house fire serves as a stark reminder that Sheridan residents should exercise special vigilance when operating heat sources. While cold weather makes heating equipment indispensable, combustible materials should be kept away from heat-producing appliances.