DANBURY- A fire Thursday night in Danbury came dangerously close to disaster, but the quick actions of the community are being credited with saving the lives of dozens of puppies in a store called Puppy Love.
Last night’s rescue has been called a miracle.
The owner of the store, Sean Silverman, said, “I closed the store I’d say about 8 o’clock and then I got home. I live about a half hour away and then my phone just started lighting up.”
The storage building, connected to Puppy Love, was full of ATVs, quads and motorcycles, owned by Danbury Powersports, when it went up in flames at around 9 pm Thursday. Fortunately, all 86 dogs are fine as they were methodically, but quickly, pulled from the building in their crates.
“The reason we have them on wheels is for these kind of crazy things,” said Silverman. “So, if those weren’t on wheels, it would’ve been even more crazy.”
The dogs are safe also because of two firefighters heroics at the back of the store by the fire door that connects to store to the shed.
“Danbury firefighters were incredible because one of them and I’m hoping I can get the footage of my cameras was holding the fire door (shut) because I guess it was trying to open up and it melted his jacket,” said Silverman.
Deputy Fire Chief William Lounsbury explained if the fire succeded in pushing through into the store, many of the dogs could have perished and the business would have been ruined.
A bar manager for a neighboring restaurant was among the first rescuers of the dogs.
“I came out with a wrench and was banging down the door and we climbed in and we all cut ourselves and (expletive) but we got them all out,” said Dan Cook, who works for Bambu.
But, because it was shatterproof glass, it wasn’t easy to gain access.
“We succeeded by actually taking a statue and launching it through the front door and then at that point we were able to successfully get all of the dogs out,” said Bes Kaba, Manager of neighboring Stanziato’s Restaurant.
All 86 will be housed through the weekend in a space that Stanziato’s will soon expand into.
“We checked all the pets,” said Dr. Jeffrey Hubsher, the primary Veterinarian for Puppy Love. “Some were a little shaken up. They are babies. But, by the time we left, everybody was eating.”
“We are just so proud of everybody that lives here and works here,” said Mayor Mark Boughton (R-Danbury). “It just shows that anybody can do anything when they put their mind to it.”
Silverman and his wife, Nancy, have owned and operated Puppy Love since 1995.
“You could have the worst day in the world and you walk in here and you’ve got 70, 80 puppies that just wanna love you,” said Silverman. “Who doesn’t want that?”