Firefighters Set up Ladders to Rescue Precious Raccoons from Warehouse Fire

When just last week I wrote a story about firefighters joining forces with animal control to rescue a raccoon from a sewer grate, I assumed this ‘coon rescue would be the most elaborate of its kind for at least the remainder of August. Au contraire, said Father Fate, here’s an even higher-stakes story about firefighters setting up ladders to help raccoons escape from an actual fire. 

When a warehouse broke out in flames in South Bend, Indiana on Sunday, firefighters leaned two ladders against the wall and waited for two precious trash pandas to climb down from the smokey roof. A video of the successful rescue was posted on the South Bend Fire Department’s Facebook page.

"Some people would ask, 'Why save the raccoons?'” the Facebook post stated, followed by an answer for some people: “Life safety and property conservation are two priorities on a fire scene." 

In the video, the first brave raccoon climbs timidly down the ladder and takes a dramatic leap before reaching the final rung. You can hear kids cheering adorably. Not to be outdone, the second raccoon waits for the first to have its *moment* before doing that same careful-descent-and-epic leap thing. Maybe that’s just a raccoon thing and not a performance stunt but, regardless, we’re happy to have two cuties back on that nightly lurking grind.


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Ruby Anderson is a news writer for Thrillist. Send raccoon content to