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By Linda Weller for Chicago Tribune

ALTON, Ill. — A couple who lost a dachshund in a devastating house fire last winter is helping seven area fire departments perhaps spare others the grief by donating 10 animal oxygen mask kits.

“We’re glad to have these. We hope one day when we use one of them that it will be successful,” said Chief Greg Bock of the Alton Fire Department, which got one of the kits. “We’re always appreciative to get this kind of thing.”

Fire victims Charles and Nicky Wiley of Alton recently used money from a March 20 fundraiser held in their behalf to instead buy the mask sets for the Alton, Bethalto, Cottage Hills, East Alton, Wood River and Roxana fire departments, and the Godfrey Fire Protection District.

Some departments got two sets, depending on need. Each kit contains three masks, with small, medium and large sizes and accompanying tubing. The total cost of all 10 kits was $800.

Nicky Wiley, 39, said she got the idea to make the donations after seeing someone give pet oxygen masks to firefighters on a St. Louis news telecast. She got online and ordered the masks from Wag’N Enterprises of Tampa, Fla.

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