Miracle Cat Found in Building’s Burned-Out Ruins


It’s miraculous enough to find a cat buried but still alive beneath a huge pile of rubble from a building destroyed by fire, but even more miraculous when that cat is found a month after the fire.

Smoka the Cat was last seen on August 9th, the night that the Franklin, Ohio apartment building in which she and owner lived burned to the ground. There was no sign of Smoka in any of her regular haunts, and everyone assumed she had perished in the fire.

Sandy LaPierre, Smoka’s owner, said, “Whenever my neighbor kicked the door in to get me out, she hid under the bed and that was the last I’ve seen of her.”

This week, as Starks Wrecking Services was clearing away the remaining hull of the building, one of the workers spotted a furry head poking up from beneath a pile of rubble. “I imagine 20 to 30 tons of trash on top of it,” said Clarence Witte. It was Smoka, dehydrated and emaciated, but still alive.

“I was stunned, shocked,” LaPierre said. “She is a miracle after staying there almost a month in the rubble.”

A veterinarian examined the cat, who was relatively healthy, given her ordeal, and said she had probably survived by eating insects.

“It looked like (she) just got off a boat from Ethiopia, but (she) was unscathed,” said Dennie Fitzgerald, the building’s owner. “With those bulldozers, those big bulldozers rolling over the top of that thing day after day, it should not have made it.”

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