GREENPORT–Firefighters put their training and new equipment to use when they rescued 11 cats from a burning house at 14 Charles Street, June 11 at 11:47 p.m. Greenport firefighters responded to a residential structure fire with numerous pets still inside.
Fire chiefs reported heavy smoke and fire in a bedroom. Two neighbors were using a garden hose to knock down the fire.
The first engine extinguished the blaze while chiefs and other firefighters rescued 11 cats, some of which required medical attention.
Back in March, firefighters trained in the use of O2 Fur Life Pet oxygen masks, which were donated to the department.
The house was ventilated. An investigation determined the fire was accidentally caused by unattended candles. The fire was contained to the bedroom with heat and smoke damage in the rest of the home. The woman owner/occupant, who was alerted to the fire by a smoke detector attempted to throw buckets of water on it before she was driven out and used a cell phone to call 911.
She was issued clothing vouchers from the Columbia County Fire Chiefs Association by County Fire Coordinator John Howe and the Greenport Fire Chief.
She and her rescued cats will be staying locally with friends. One cat and one bird died in the fire, several other cats are believed to have fled into the neighborhood.
All three Greenport companies responded to the call along with the Greenport Rescue Squad and Columbia County fire coordinators.