One resident of a Beaverton, OR apartment building that caught fire Friday morning credits his cat with alerting him to the early morning blaze and possibly saving both their lives.
As many residents awoke and prepared for their day, a fire started in one apartment’s kitchen and quickly spread to surrounding units. Residents who smelled smoke banged on doors on their way out of the building, and a group still in pajamas were standing outside when firefighters arrived.
The fire was so intense and fast moving that additional fire crews were called out to help. Eight units were damaged by the time the fire was extinguished.
One person went to the hospital for burns. One cat died int he fire and another was missing afterward.
Ted Howlett’s apartment is just a couple of doors down from the unit where the early morning fire started. He was in the shower, completely unaware of the commotion surrounding him, and didn’t smell smoke or hear a neighbor banging on his door.
Instead, it was his cat Bill that alerted him to the fire.
“The cat came running into the bathroom and was howling and scratching,” Howlett said. “There was a lot of smoke coming in through the windows. It was coming in through the closet. I got out the cat carrier and the cat went right in. He knew it was time to get out of the apartment.”
“He kind of was freaking out, running back and forth. There was a lot of smoke coming into the windows and the alarm started to go off, and normally Bill would fight me but he didn’t fight me at all,” said Howlatt.
Thanks to Bill the cat, both got out safely.