Ellie the Cat is Rescued by Firefighter and Gets Help for Her Injuries Following House Fire

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A Bellevue, WA woman and her cat are getting support from the community after the kitty was seriously injured in a house fire.

Petmom Cassie Howard stood for hours outside of the charred wreckage of her home one day earlier this month, refusing to leave without her cat. A fireman who promised to find Ellie the cat carried her outside after locating her exactly where Cassie thought she’d have gone to hide.

Ellie was released from the vet hospital after several days, but returned on Tuesday for a procedure for her burns. She will return several times for further treatment.

Cassie Howard tells the story compellingly, writing at the Help Heal Ellie YouCaring fundraiser page:

Life can change in a second. On the morning of Tuesday, November 5th my apartment was in an explosion the started from the unit directly across the hall from mine. The cause of the explosion is still unknown.

My only thought was that my 1 year old cat Ellie was still inside. My boss walked over there with me, while the whole time I was hoping that he had made a mistake and that it was a different building on fire. When we were close enough to see the building, it was for sure mine. I almost threw up. Every part of my body went numb as I watched helplessly as my life literally went up in flames. I kept pleading with everyone and anyone who would listen to please save my cat. I had this feeling that she was alive and was hiding under my bed.

After 6 hours of standing in the rain and refusing to move from where I could see where most of my apartment was, a fireman approached me. He saw I was wearing my Pro Club uniform and informed me that he used to work at Pro Club in the 90’s. He said it was like a family there, and family helps each other out. He told me that he was personally going to go in a find Ellie. Within minutes of climbing through my broken and burnt bedroom window he emerged holding onto my little girl. She had been hiding under what was left of my bed. It was the best moment of my life, during the worst day of my life!

Ellie was rushed to a local animal hospital and was started on pain medication and antibiotics. She had xrays, blood work taken, and IV fluids as well. They found a spot on her right lung that was burnt. The following morning her burns had progressed and she lost most of the fur on her left front leg and belly. The pads of her feet are badly burnt as well. She inhaled smoke for 6 hours inside my bedroom which had practically turned into a furnace. She was transfered to Seattle Veterinary Specialists on 11/6/13 to be carefully watched by respiratory specialists since her breathing is pretty labored. They have been giving her high flow oxygen. She may require a skin graft on her burnt body. Her medical bills are piling up like crazy, we are hoping to raise enough to cover them. She’s got a rough couple of months ahead of her until she fully recovers, but she is one tough cookie 🙂

I may have lost all my things, but I didn’t lose everything. I will rebuild and move forward, I just feel so blessed to have Ellie girl alive. She is the one thing I cared about losing. Thank you for all your love and support!!


At the time of publication, the Help Heal Ellie YouCaring fundraiser page has raised over $10,500 of its current $12,500 goal, with over 300 donations.

Local media outlet KING5 News has covered the story and helped to promote the fundraising campaign for Ellie’s medical care.



You can read several updates on Ellie and her care, written by Cassie,  HERE. You’ll have to click on the UPDATES tab.

The most recent of the updates from Cassie, on Novemeber 19,  says:

Hello everyone! Ellie is having another procedure on her burns right now as I type. She has been doing really well at home (I haven’t had to use her feeding tube at all. She is eating and drinking on her own, yay!) and they are hopeful that she can come back home after her treatment tonight. She will need several more within the next few days/weeks. They did find Ellie has a heart murmur, which could be nothing or it could be a sign of stress, infection, ect. We have increased our goal amount since she is now going to have a cardiologist workup and an ultrasound on her heart to check if all the valves are working properly. Also, since burns are so unpredictable that it is hard for the surgeon to develop a treatment plan since it really is a day-by-day case. She will need several treatments on her burns before having the grafts done. Ellie continues to improve daily! We are so grateful and amazed by the support we are receiving! I don’t know how I would cope with all this without Ellie, and all of your love and prayers.


Photos below show the burned residence and Ellie after she was found, and as she heals.













1 thought on “Ellie the Cat is Rescued by Firefighter and Gets Help for Her Injuries Following House Fire”

  1. What a beautiful and touching story of love and perseverance. A tragedy overcame with strong will to survive on Ellie and your side. The pictures show a great love between two of you. Very moving. Thanks for sharing. Love & prayers.

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