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Parrot’s Cries of ‘Help, Fire’ Bring Firefighters to Burning House in Idaho

Emergency crews responding to a house fire in Idaho Friday night expected to find an elderly woman inside the home when they heard cries of "help" and "fire."

But after an extensive search, firefighters were only able to find two parrots — one who happened to be more verbal than the other.

Calls about the two-alarm blaze in rural Boise came into the Middleton Fire Department at about 9:30 p.m., said Victor Islas, a community relations officer for the department.

"Once the captain did his walk-around, he could hear something or someone inside yelling, 'help, fire, help, fire,'" Islas said. Crews went into "rescue mode" and called for backup, thinking that the calls for help were coming from an elderly female, Islas said.

When firefighters couldn't find anyone in the house, they started using thermal imagery technology, which detected no people, but rather, a parrot sitting on a table, Islas said.

The boisterous female parrot was rescued, along with a quieter male parrot. The female parrot was given oxygen by way of an adult oxygen mask, Islas said. She immediately perked up and started to imitate the sounds of the sirens, he said.

No one was injured in the fire, which ended up being contained to only one room in the house, according to the Middleton Fire Department.

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— Elisha Fieldstadt