I hope someone gives this man an award. Talk about respecting life — Washington fireman Eric Bamer went out of his way to save a family of hamsters from smoke inhalation.

Trapped in a house fire, the five critters were passed out by the time firefighters could rescue them from the burning building. Obviously, no oxygen mask on hand was small enough to fit their tiny muzzles. So Bamer used tubing and a plastic bag to craft a mask that would do the job. Sadly, one hamster did not recover — but Oreo, Madonna and two unnamed hamsters are doing just fine.

Some images from the scene:

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