Ernie the dog came bark from the dead after he was rescued from a blazing house and given the kiss of life by a firefighter.
The Staffordshire bull terrier was overpowered by smoke and trapped in a locked cage next to an airing cupboard when the fire broke out in a bungalow.
Owners Simon and Lyndsey Fletcher were working away and neighbours raised the alarm when they saw smoke billowing from the house in Sittingbourne, Kent.
Firefighters broke in and carried out Ernie and his two canine companions – Bert, six, a dachshund-Jack Russell cross, and Elmo, four, a chihuahua-Yorkshire terrier cross.
The other two dogs were unhurt but fireman Neil Ryder realised Ernie wasn’t breathing and he cupped his hands around his nose and started to blow.
A second crewman then arrived and used breathing apparatus to bring the dog fully back to life.
Neil, 45, said: “He wasn’t breathing very much and there was nobody else around so I decided to give him 10 breaths.
“I went off to perform another duty before going back to it and breathing into its nose again.
“Doing that you could see a change, the pupils started to react and its breathing was better but it was still sluggish.
“When it came round there was a sense of relief because it’s always nice to save a life, no matter who or what it is.
“The breathing apparatus crewman who rescued it is a big animal lover so he was also over the moon.”
Lyndsey, 34, a division sales manager for Avon, was at a meeting in Southampton when she got a phone call about the blaze.
She rang her 35 year-old husband who was already on his way home from work and he arrived to find the dogs safely rescued – although Thomas the cat is still missing.
She said: “I got a call from a neighbour that two of the dogs were at the vets and they’d been checked over and they were OK but one had ran off.
“The dog warden, police and neighbours were out looking for him. He was eventually found cowering in a bush.
“I was on the phone to the vets when he was bought him. The cat hasn’t come back yet.
“We’re so grateful for what Neil did for Ernie. We’d also like to thank everyone who helped and for saving all of the dogs.
“The house is completely gutted and there’s very little we can salvage but at least our family is OK, the animals are like our babies.”
The couple, who had lived at the property for eight years, are staying with relatives until their insurance company finds them a place to rent.