Mount Pleasant is the latest town in South Carolina to use oxygen masks on pets caught in fires.

The Charleston Post and Courier reports the town's five fire stations now have masks for both dogs and cats who, like humans, often need to be treated with oxygen as the result of smoke inhalation.

Fire Chief Herb Williams says pets are a big part of people's lives and often get scared and hide in a house during a fire, making them more susceptible to smoke.

Each year about 40,000 pets die nationwide in fires, mainly of smoke inhalation.

Pet oxygen masks are already used by fire departments in Spartanburg, Bluffton and Hilton Head.