A FAMILY is seeking the 'guardian angel' who gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to their much-loved dog after it had collapsed following a severe house blaze.

Mark Robson and his partner Victoria Hoggarth, whose cottage on Queen's Road in Kendal was ravaged by fire on Saturday afternoon, want to thank the mystery woman who brought their 14-month-old American Akita back to life after it lay prone in the road outside their gutted home.

Mr Robson, who is head chef at the town's Brewery Arts Centre, was walking back home from an early shift when he saw smoke billowing in the distance. He did not think much of it until he saw a crowd of people huddled outside his cottage and heard the howling of his two American Akita dogs inside.

Despite protestations from his neighbours, the chef ran into the house to try to save his beloved pets.

Once he managed to open the main door, one of the dogs, called Fenrir, ran out and escaped into nearby Serpentine Woods.

But due to the thick smoke that had already engulfed the property, Mr Robson was unable to locate his other dog called Cujo.

He then spotted it lying in a lifeless heap by the fridge in the kitchen. The dog, which usually has a white coat, was covered in ash and soot.

Mr Robson believed that the dog was dead and carried it out in his arms.

"In my eyes he was dead, there was no life in him" he said. "The dogs were trapped in a room surrounded with horrible thick smoke with nowhere to go.

"You couldn't see anything and it was so hot, but I didn't think and I just ran into the house. I wasn't going to leave my dogs behind."

Mr Robson recalled two people taking the dog from him once he managed to evacuate it from the house.

He suffered from second degree burns to his hands after trying to remove furniture from the property.

But as he stood watching his home of ten years burn, he turned around and saw two women on the side of the road trying to bring Cujo, which belongs to his daughter Kim Hoggarth, back to life.

"One woman was rubbing his chest," he said. "But the other one knew exactly what she was doing. She had what looked like a small oxygen mask, and was giving the dog mouth-to-mouth and CPR. She was doing everything to resuscitate him.

"I was honestly convinced he was dead, but she brought him back to life."

"I didn't think people like her existed anymore," said Mr Robson. "She was like a ghost, a guardian angel, who appeared from nowhere and saved our dog's life.

"There is no way Cujo would be alive today without her and we want to find her and say thank you because there are not many people like her in this world."

Mr Robson also said that he was extremely grateful to everyone who helped.

"It was truly a team effort," he said. "I am so thankful to everyone who rushed out to help. There was a real community spirit that you don't hear often about."

Mr Robson recalled that Cujo did not move until Fenrir ran back from the woods to his side.

"Fen had the fear of God in her eyes," he said. "But eventually she came rushing back from the woods. And when Cujo saw Fen he suddenly stirred and got up."

The dogs were rushed to the vets and treated while Mr Robson was taken to hospital. No one else was harmed in the incident.

"I will never forget the sound of my dogs howling. That will stay with me forever," said Mr Robson.

Now, Mr Robson and his family want to find the selfless stranger, who they believe is a nurse, to thank her in person. They also want her to meet Cujo, who is now slowly bouncing back to good health.

The fire service say that the Saturday afternoon blaze was started by an electrical fault near a fish tank and reptile cage. The couple kept a number of exotic animals in the property and a two-year old dragon lizard and a six-year old tarantula perished in the fire.

Fire fighters from Kendal, Milnthorpe and Windermere were called to the cottage at around 2.50pm and used four breathing apparatus and one hose reel to extinguish the blaze. They were at the scene for nearly two hours.

If anyone has information about who the woman could be, or if the woman herself would like to get in touch, email reporter Celia Powell on celia.powell@newsquest.co.uk or call 01539 790238.