Hamsters rescued after house fire thanks to itty-bitty oxygen mask

Four hamsters in Washington should be feeling very lucky after a close call last week.

Once firefighters in Lacey, Washington put out a house fire that started in a home's clothes dryer on Friday, they discovered five caged hamsters had passed out from smoke inhalation.

Using tubing and a plastic bag, firefighter Eric Bamer was quickly able to fashion a makeshift oxygen mask that was just right for the hamsters' tiny mugs.

“The primary reason we were there was to put out a house fire,” Tim Hulse, battalion chief for the fire department, told “But we’re in the business of customer service, and any time we’re called to help people, we do the best we can to make their bad situation a little better.” 

Hulse was on the scene and able to post photos of the rescue efforts of the hamsters — whose names included Oreo and Madonna — on the fire department’s Twitter page. 

With the mask, four of the five hamsters were able to be resuscitated. (Sadly, one didn't make it.) The surviving hamsters are now safely home with their owners. 

“We naturally wanted to do everything we could to help them,” Hulse said. “That was just one of the things.”