A fire crew spent an hour giving a cat life-saving oxygen after a house fire.

Hunter the cat was found unconscious in the front room of the Lusis family's North Shore home after a blaze that started on the back deck tore through the house.

With the family of Dennise, Brent, Jordan, 14, and Jessica, 11, safe and the fire out, Devonport firefighter Hoani Mafi rescued the 5-year-old moggy and hooked him up to a paediatric mask and oxygen tank.

Mafi sat with Hunter for an hour, stabilising him before he was rushed to an emergency vet.


"They went above and beyond and we can't thank them enough," Dennise Lusis said.

"Hunter was on death's door. The young firefighter ... had him on oxygen and was looking after him."

Brent Lusis, a Navy officer, received burns to his hand and face and faces skin graft operations. The rest of the family were unhurt. Hunter needed a blood transfusion but is recovering at home.

Devonport station manager Greg Booker said the fire service's first priority was saving human lives but they were happy to help pets when they could.

"We all know pets are part of the family."

The fire started about 3am last Sunday. Jordan woke thirsty and noticed a flickering light outside his bedroom window.

"He got up and saw the back deck was on fire, ran in and told us," Dennise said.

A Givealittle page has been set up to help with costs: givealittle.co.nz/cause/forlusisfamily

Video interview at nzherald.co.nz