12/16/2015 11:30 EST | Updated 12/16/2015 11:59 EST

Calgary Man Severely Burned After Trying To Save Cats From Fire


CALGARY — A Calgary man has suffered life-threatening burns after he escaped a house fire only to go back in an effort to save his three pet cats.

Witnesses say they saw the man in his 40s run repeatedly inside the burning home in the city's southeast.

Firefighters were able to revive one of the cats with oxygen but say the other two died in the blaze.

The man was taken to hospital in serious condition with extensive burns to most of his body.

Carol Henke of the Calgary Fire Department says people sometimes sacrifice their own safety for the sake of their pets.

Henke says their advice is to make a fire escape plan that includes pets, but adds that if people make it out of a fire and their pets are left behind, "we never want people to go back inside, because it is very dangerous.''

She says firefighters always want to be told when a fire is called in whether there are any people or pets still in the building.

"We will do our utmost to get them out as quickly as possible,'' she says.

The owner of the home, Mike Salem, says the man and his mother had been renting the place for three years, describing them as model tenants.

(CTV Calgary)

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