On Sunday night, an apartment in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., was destroyed in a five-alarm fire that killed one person and left 47 families homeless.
Chiffon Gillette was one of those residents.
She and her family managed to escape the fire with their dog and three of their five cats. And for the last several days, Gillette had been desperately wondering what had become of the two felines they couldn’t find before they had to flee.
During a tenants’ meeting on Tuesday night, Gillette tearfully begged Brooklyn Borough Fire Department Commander Chief Jim Leonard to help her find her family’s feline friends.
And yesterday, members of Engine Company 202 began a search-and-rescue mission for Gillette’s cats.
Four firefighters entered the burned-out building and made their way to Gillette’s fifth-floor apartment.
When they opened the door, fireman Matthew LeFace spotted a husky black cat wearing a pink collar. Three-year-old Fatty Girl was lurking under a dining room table, but the terrified cat bolted as soon as she saw them. She ran to a closet shelf and then into a bedroom.
The chase came to an end when the firefighters closed the bedroom door and talked gently to the frightened feline, who had hidden inside a bed box spring.
One made kissing noises. Another called out “Hey, kitty,” while another “Pss-sss-sss!”
Fireman Ellis Williams even whistled, but stopped when he realized “that’s for a dog.”
Then a few firemen with cat-like reflexes managed to snatch Fatty Girl from her hiding place inside a bed box spring.
“This thing was really trying not to be found,” Lt. Steve Molino said. “[She] was quick for a heavy cat.”
The cat was eventually zipped into a bag and taken to the fire truck.
Even then, they were careful. “I don’t want to zip the cat’s fur,” Williams said.
Inside the rig, LeFace tried to comfort the kitty.
“[She’s] kinda lonely in there. I talked to [her], but [she’s] s not a talker,” he joked.
Gillette’s relieved brother, Wright, arrived at the fire truck a little while later to pick up Fatty Girl.
And Gillette has been reunited with a beloved family member, thanks to Brooklyn’s Bravest, who executed a purr-fect rescue.
[Source: New York Daily News]