'unbelievable that she's still alive,' says a dog rescued from a Seattle home that slid off the foundation
Remy Olivier had traveled with his neighbors to their Seattle home, which fell in a storm last week, wading through the debris hoping to locate the presumed-to-be body of their missing 3-year-old black Labrador mixed dog.
James and Didi Fritts were rescued from their home Friday when a house fell about 15 to 20 feet from its foundation.
The missing "Sammy" had occurred until about noon Thursday, when Olivier described the three as hearing a little bit of whining from the Magnolia home. It came from an area adjacent to Lilly, the dog's sister, who had been killed immediately as mud and debris from an adjacent hillside knocked off its foundation.
Sammy was pulled from the wreckage two and half hours later, but was in good health considering her six days in the rubble.
Theres just been no hope, Olivier said. We hadnt been looking for living dogs. We assumed that she was in the crush because theres not much left of the house.
He added that we found her right next to her sister, and that shes been next to the other dog this whole time.
The body of the dead dog had been partially visible in the rubble, but it was left ununtouched due to the amount of rubble it was buried beneath it. Rescue workers on Thursday had proceeded with extreme caution, worried their presence might cause the red-tagged home, which had dropped about 15 to 20 feet off its foundation, to further collapse.
As the rescue efforts, we listened to the dog, according to David Cuerpo, a spokesperson for the Seattle Fire Department.
The crews cut through the debris with chainsaws, forming a hole in the second floor, hoping to see the dog.
Some parts of the first floor, upon which the upper level collapsed, had been reduced to a crawlspace that further complicated extraction attempts. After about an hour, the crews ceased all chainsaw activities, cramming the noise that frightened the dog into silence.
As rescuers attempted to remove additional debris, temporary support posts were positioned beneath a second floor balcony dangling precariously over the crushed bottom floor.
James Fritts was in the home with Olivier and rescuers at one point. He contacted his wife, who was waiting anxiously in the street below, wanting to know more about her hearing.
Sammy had been found alive by the rescue team not long after.
In the evening, Didi Fritts broke down with tears of joy. A veterinarian on the scene walked up to the property's front lawn to meet workers, and Olivier lifted Sammy out of the home and lifted his foot into a steep embankment.
Firefighters accompanied Sammy to a waiting stretcher where Didi Fritts whispered, Its mommy, its mommy. hugged and hugged the animal she thought she would never see again.
We just pulled apart the entire floor and we pulled her out," Olivier said. She looked like she had enough room to survive. She wasnt crushed by anything, or punctured, but she had just a small bit of room. I guess she was surviving on rainwater the past couple of days
Its just unbelievable that shes still alive, she declares.