Early Tuesday morning, a fire broke out in a Woodland, California home. Resident Rob Kingery and his two human roommates were able to escape and call 911, but their three cats remained trapped inside.
Woodland fire personnel responded to the blaze, which broke out around 3 a.m., and called in assistance from UC Davis and the nearby town of Willow Oak because the fire was beginning to spread to a neighbor’s home.
Within 30 minutes of their arrival, the fire was contained. Kingery then told the firefighters that his three cats, Pur, Merlin and Stormy, were trapped inside.
The felines, all adopted from shelters, were found inside the house overcome by smoke and unconscious.
“The first one looked like it was dead, the second two looked like they were trying to breathe,” said Battalion Chief Ernie Fatta.
They brought the cats out onto the front lawn one by one and then hooked them up to small oxygen masks made for animals. “Within 15 minutes or so, they were all breathing well,” said Fatta.
Woodland Fire carries a bag of medical equipment made specifically for animals. An increasing number of fire departments across the country carry pet oxygen masks.
Firefighters were able to retrieve the keys to Kingery’s car, where the cats were confined for their protection.
With his phone, keys, wallet and cats saved, Kingery said his only other immediate concern was his backpack which contained school work and laptop computer.
Kingery was happy everyone was all right. He also planned to contact his parents sometime Monday to tell them about the fire.
“It looks like I’ll be living with them again,” he said, as will the cats.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.