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20 July, 2024
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Rescuers brave flames to save dog in Paphos wildfire

Police officer shares heartwarming account of heroic rescue effort


The dedication and bravery of firefighting teams and volunteer groups are crucial every summer as they battle the fires that plague the island of Cyprus. A recent rescue effort has captured the hearts of many, highlighted by a poignant photo of a rescuer cradling a dog in his arms.

Stathis Andreou, a police officer, recounted the story behind the photo to SigmaLive. The rescue took place on May 31, when a fire erupted in the Ayios Sila area of Limassol. Upon receiving the alert, Andreou's team, led by the ATLAS unit, immediately rushed to the scene to assist in extinguishing the blaze.

Andreou described the dramatic rescue: “The fire had grown in size, and while we were assisting the Forestry Department and the Fire Brigade, we heard a man shouting, 'Please, my dog is going to burn, please do something.' With approval from our team leader, another member and I advanced toward the front lines to locate the dog.”

The man's property was about 700-800 meters from the team’s location. Despite the fires, they pressed forward. “Through the smoke, we saw a brick house about 10 meters from the fire. We approached, risking being trapped, and heard the dog crying. I forcefully opened the door, and the frightened dog ran desperately. I grabbed him and we started running as the fire closed in. The route we came from was now engulfed in flames, but we found a safer path and handed the dog over to his owner,” Andreou said. “The greatest pleasure was seeing the look on people’s faces and their heartfelt thanks.”

That day, the team also safeguarded a shelter and an animal farm in addition to rescuing the dog, showcasing their unwavering commitment to saving lives amid the peril of summer fires.

[Source: Sigma Live]

Cyprus  |  Paphos  |  fires

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