Dozens of Dogs Burned in House Fire, Rescued by Off-Duty Firefighter in Mackinac County

A house fire broke out on Thanksgiving and left dozens of dogs with burns on their faces and bodies.

The Mackinac County Sheriff Department says the fire was a result of the homeowner causing an explosion by lighting a cigarette.

Off-duty Firefighter Justin Bazinau, who lives just two houses down, was the first on the scene.

He managed to rescue the home owner and then started moving dozens of dogs out of the house and off their leashes.

“I pulled her out. She was somewhat combative and I walked up to the back of my truck, laid her down and started pulling more dogs out of the place before it fully engulfed,” Bazinau said. “I walked around and let more dogs loose that were tied up to dog houses outside and waited for other units to arrive.”

Bazinau was checked out at a hospital for smoke inhalation and released shortly after.

He helped round up most of the dogs to deliver to The Mackinac County Animal Shelter.

Administrator Tina Newsome says the dogs arrived in rough condition.

“Severe burnt eyes–ears. A lot of them have Insert Imageburns on their underpart,” she said. “All of their hair is singed. Just about every dog we have is all singed,” said Newsome.

Newsome added, beside injuries from the fire, the dogs were already not in the best health.

“They haven’t had the best care in the past,” Newsome said. “That’s about all I can say is that they came in very thin and not good health.”

The shelter plans to get the 46 rescued dogs healthy and move them on to other shelters who may have more room.

The resident is currently being treated in the hospital and the sheriff’s department has launched an investigation into her treatment of the animals.