“She saved my life, and maybe I saved hers.” Those are Curtis Smallwood’s words in the aftermath of the fire last Friday morning that left four Lexington, KY families homeless when it destroyed the apartment building where they lived.
A cat named Artemis is credited with alerting Curtis to the fire by waking him and getting his attention when he had no inkling that anything might be wrong. “My morning began with a cat clawing at my legs. She was acting pretty strange so I woke up.” Curtis discovered the building was filling with smoke and flames, so he picked Artemis up and carried her out of the building. “I grabbed a few things. Looked for her, grabbed her. Decided I was going to go out the front door. I went through the front door and realized there’s no way I am making it through that. Ran out the back door. Pretty much the building below me was already in flames.”
Artemis is the pet cat of Curtis’ friend Brooke Saylor, who was not home at the time of the fire. Brooke is grateful that things played out as they did; she said, “I would have been so devastated. This was the first thing I was worried about…was my kitty cat.”
The Red Cross is helping the displaced families.