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Animal Relief Team Reunites Owner And Pet Separated In Port Richmond Blaze

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By Syma Chowdhry

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Nicole Frazier is seeing her dog Sheba for the first time – since a fire ripped through her home on Memphis Street in Port Richmond (see previous story).  It happened in the early Sunday morning.

Frazier was working a 16-hour shift as a nursing assistant – not knowing what the scene was on her street.

Four homes, including hers, were burning down. But inside her house was Sheba, scared and alone. “I had no idea what was going on with her life, if she made it or anything like that,” Frazier said.

Sunday, Sheba was rescued but covered in ashes.  She was safe thanks to the Red Paw Relief Team.

Jennifer Leary is the founder of Red Paw Relief Team and said, “We are the Red Cross for animals.”

If a fire, like Sunday’s, leaves a family displaced, Red Paw steps in to take care of their pets.

“We provide emergency response, emergency shelter, vet care, whatever the animal needs,” added Leary.

The organization started two years ago and has rescued about 500 animals including cats, dogs, turtles, rabbits, ferrets, fish, birds, you name it, snakes.

But Sheba made it hard for rescuers and Leary explained, “She ran out of the house which was great, but she couldn’t find anyone that she was familiar with got startled and ran back into the fire, so the firefighters had to pull her out twice.”

Frazier believes Sheba was uncooperative for a reason, station, “I know her.  She did that because she was looking for me.  She wanted to know where I was, was I safe?

Frazier’s home has been totaled.

She will stay with friends — while Sheba will remain with a Red Paw volunteer.

But from the looks of it… all they need is each other.

Nicole said, “If you take care of your pet, your pet will take care of you.”

While Nicole Frazier and the other families who lost everything in the fire continue to pick up the pieces, fire officials are continuing to investigate this suspicious fire.

They have a suspect in custody but no charges have been filed.

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