Dog left inside running SUV at shopping center dies in fire

A dog died after a car fire Wednesday near a shopping center in South Charleston, West Virginia.
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 5:49 PM EDT
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SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A car fire at the Target parking lot in South Charleston turned deadly for a dog. When South Charleston firefighters responded Monday afternoon, they found a canine locked inside and smoke and flames.

South Charleston Fire Department Chief Virgil White said firefighters broke out the windows of the burning SUV to get inside and rescue a pit bull.

“They did locate the dog in the back seat, so they immediately grabbed the dog and took it out of the vehicle, and they started life saving measures on the dog,” White said.

The call first came in as a car on fire at the Target parking lot and when first responders arrived, they learned a dog could be inside. White said the SUV was running, and the dog was left inside the 2010 GMC Yukon.

“The dog was in the car by itself the vehicle was running at the time when the fire started,” White said.

Firefighters began CPR on the pit bull and transported it to a local veterinary hospital.

“Whether it is a person or an animal, we always try to save a life and if we can do so we will,” White said. “It was struggling to breath. A lot of smoke inhalation, as you can imagine from the fire, because the car was full of smoke.”

White said never leave pets in the car, whether it is running or not.

“Don’t leave your pets in the vehicle unattended in the vehicle that is the main thing for this,” White said.

White said the dog’s owner was shopping when the incident happened and came outside.

Firefighters said the cause of the fire is undetermined.