Zeke’s guardian lost his apartment and all his belongings in a devastating March fire. He is grateful that, because people were watching for missing cats, Zeke was found and returned.
Dylan Kidd-Levy was one of 70 tenants displaced when their building at 145 Lewis St. in Lynn, MA burned in a fierce fire on March 25. Dylan’s cat Zeke was one of several cats missing afterwards. Cats were thought to remain in the burned out shell of the building, and residents, along with neighbors and rescuers, kept an eye out and searched for any missing pets that might have survived.
Animal welfare staffers from the Massachusetts Progressive Animal Watchdog Society, Inc. and Animal Rescue League (ARL), working with firefighters, set up humane traps in the building. Zeke was not found in the building. He was found by custodian Matt Breen at the nearby Brickett School on Tuesday. Matt Breen contacted Animal Control Officer Keith Sheppard, who trapped Zeke and made the call that Dylan had awaited for 8 days.
Dylan acted quickly on the night of the fire to get Zeke and himself out from their 2nd floor apartment when the alarm went off, black smoke began to spread through the building, and people started screaming. He tried to get Zeke into his regular carrier, then placed him into a cardboard carrier that was easier to use. He placed the carrier on the fire escape so firefighters could safely rescue his cat, then climbed down the fire escape that required him to use both hands for the descent. He thinks water from the fire hoses melted the carrier, allowing Zeke to escape and go missing. Dylan and his mother feared that the cat ran back into the building, and spent the week before Zeke was found searching the apartment building’s remains with the help of firefighters and building management personnel.
Officer Sheppard from Animal Control took Zeke to North Shore Animal Hospital, where he was reunited with his grateful guardian. The animal hospital is being praised for its work examining cats found after the fire before they are returned to their families.
“It was a big hooray when we found that cat,” Dylan is quoted saying in The Daily Item.
Raw video from the night of the blaze, taken as the building burned, gives an up close view of what residents and their pets witnessed.
Firefighters are working at the scene, as the building is illuminated and the fire’s crackling is loudly heard.
This video, shot earlier, shows the intensity of the flames as they reach outward from the building into the darkness.