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Had a Little Miracle This Morning


KWRB
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I saved a little life, so far, with the help of a friend this morning. But that life did a lot of his own saving first.

It's beginning to become a running joke in our FD that we are in the business of saving cats. We even successfully performed TWO "cat stuck in a tree" calls in the last year or two.

This morning I had a hand in my fourth cat rescue. It was a ripping monster fire at an old country church that had been converted into residences. By the time we got there, it was blowing out most of the sides. There was no saving it. One of the residents only escaped narrowly with the help of a passerby.

About an hour in, we had it controlled enough to force some exterior doors to hit some fire inside. So I'm in with two guys from my company, and I hear over all the noise this high pitched squeal. I thought it was in the nozzle and my buddy points at the floor. Up to his chest in water is a miserable looking cat just sitting there, that has been in this building throughout the ordeal, waiting by the door. He was in too rough of shape to challenge me so I picked him up and handed him off. Colleague handed him off to the ambulance on scene. The paramedics gave him oxygen and laid him on the seat of the ambulance. I'm told he just laid there and cried and twitched.

I just called the vet and he's alive. It's so remarkable that something survived that, between the fire,  things collapsing, the smoke and then all the cold and the water. Vet says his temperature was 88 when they got him. I'm told that's very low. It must have been lower when I got him. It was below freezing and we were putting water on it all night long.

I don't like cats generally, but this little guy fought so hard for his life, it's impossible not to admire. The situation, to put it nicely, at that residence wasn't good. I think there's a decent chance he doesn't get claimed or owners can't/won't pay for his care. I just called the vet and instructed them that he's not to want for any care whatever. He fought hard enough already, I refuse to let him die on account of human whim. I might end up taking in another freeloader, but I don't really have a choice as I see it.

Rural volunteer firefighting so often means failure. We often can't save structures, lives or property because we start from behind so to speak. It feels really good to save SOMETHING.

I know some of you guys are firefighters, so I wanted to share.

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Nice job!

Was that the fire in Scriba? Looked like it burned the roof off. 

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2 hours ago, ChrisNY said:

Nice job!

Was that the fire in Scriba? Looked like it burned the roof off. 

It was. That old timberframe stood and everything else burned. I spent what seemed like an eternity horsing on a 2.5" playpipe straight into what was the sanctuary. That timberframe would still be up were it not for the excavator. The slate roof was interesting. Little guillotines falling all over.

The whole thing was a shame. The building hasn't been a church in that building in my lifetime but still...

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11 hours ago, KWRB said:

It was. That old timberframe stood and everything else burned. I spent what seemed like an eternity horsing on a 2.5" playpipe straight into what was the sanctuary. That timberframe would still be up were it not for the excavator. The slate roof was interesting. Little guillotines falling all over.

The whole thing was a shame. The building hasn't been a church in that building in my lifetime but still...

Having worked in several churches i have developed the theory that the only thing preventing many of them from falling down or burning up is that God is looking out for them. When he no longer has a reason to do so… 

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Been running calls for almost 42 years as a volunteer firefighter.  I have seen several animals walk out of fires that I would have thought to be too bad / too hot / too far gone.  On the most recent structure fire that I ran, the ankle biting dog came through without a scratch and hardly even the smell of smoke.  The house cat made a poor decision and went to his place of safety (up near the ceiling).  He did not have a mark on him, but did not make it.  We even tried CPR.  Of course, he was a rescue and the owner's "baby".  Left that scene shaken as we have several rescued animals on the farm.

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Update: meet Sparky, as I call him. The vets named him Fireball.

He was hypothermic and his whiskers are singed. He had fleas and probably worms. But he's eating and drinking and today the vet says he was ready for discharge. He's a funny little cat. Very affectionate.

He's all vaccinated now.

Current cat is not a fan yet. We'll see how this plays out. The vet himself had expressed interest in adopting him, so if my little b-word-cat doesn't leave him alone I'm going to let them take him. He doesn't need that in his life.

 

KIMG3413.JPG

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On 11/29/2022 at 2:22 PM, KWRB said:

I saved a little life, so far, with the help of a friend this morning. But that life did a lot of his own saving first.

It's beginning to become a running joke in our FD that we are in the business of saving cats. We even successfully performed TWO "cat stuck in a tree" calls in the last year or two.

This morning I had a hand in my fourth cat rescue. It was a ripping monster fire at an old country church that had been converted into residences. By the time we got there, it was blowing out most of the sides. There was no saving it. One of the residents only escaped narrowly with the help of a passerby.

About an hour in, we had it controlled enough to force some exterior doors to hit some fire inside. So I'm in with two guys from my company, and I hear over all the noise this high pitched squeal. I thought it was in the nozzle and my buddy points at the floor. Up to his chest in water is a miserable looking cat just sitting there, that has been in this building throughout the ordeal, waiting by the door. He was in too rough of shape to challenge me so I picked him up and handed him off. Colleague handed him off to the ambulance on scene. The paramedics gave him oxygen and laid him on the seat of the ambulance. I'm told he just laid there and cried and twitched.

I just called the vet and he's alive. It's so remarkable that something survived that, between the fire,  things collapsing, the smoke and then all the cold and the water. Vet says his temperature was 88 when they got him. I'm told that's very low. It must have been lower when I got him. It was below freezing and we were putting water on it all night long.

I don't like cats generally, but this little guy fought so hard for his life, it's impossible not to admire. The situation, to put it nicely, at that residence wasn't good. I think there's a decent chance he doesn't get claimed or owners can't/won't pay for his care. I just called the vet and instructed them that he's not to want for any care whatever. He fought hard enough already, I refuse to let him die on account of human whim. I might end up taking in another freeloader, but I don't really have a choice as I see it.

Rural volunteer firefighting so often means failure. We often can't save structures, lives or property because we start from behind so to speak. It feels really good to save SOMETHING.

I know some of you guys are firefighters, so I wanted to share.

Great story, kudos on your professional attitude and your belief in our job, I know what you mean about volunteer and paid, with us a three to four minute response time was the norm and sometimes  that still wasn't fast enough, you guys play what you are dealt and do a bloody fine job doing it, let us know how felix is doing.

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40 minutes ago, hardtail said:

Maybe a pet for the firehall?

I thought of that. That would be great, but the old timers would lose their ever loving MINDS!!!

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I’m not a fireman or a cat guy, I respect the firemen but not the cats. This is a great story nonetheless. Only good cats are barn cats, but that one deserves a home. 

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Our house cat, Reggie passed away this past March 12th. Of the cats we have had over the years, he was by far the smartest of them all. I miss him everyday. Reggie had an amazing sense of ‘time’. He ‘knew’ my waking time, bedtime, etc. If I had a day off or a late start day, within 15 min. of what would have been my normal waking time, he was scratching, and meowing at my bedroom door.

Of all the animals, especially our pets, burying Reggie was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.

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5 hours ago, 766 Man said:

  I've always gotten along with cats rather well.  Some have been gone for quite a long time now but I still miss them.  

I can help! 

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Some animals no matter what species or breed just have personality more so than others. We have had a few really good cats over the years. Sadly one of the most personable outdoor cats we had years ago chose to hide in tall grass when I was mowing one day. It ended badly and I was sick about it for a while.

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