Fire Station Cat Becomes a Star

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(PHOTO: GREENVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT)

Two summers ago, a stray cat wandered onto the property at the Belmont Fire Department in Greenville County, South Carolina. “He was just hunkered down in the grass — just meowing like crazy,” Jordan Lide, a firefighter, told WYFF. “We kind of coaxed him out … with some chicken.”

Since then, the cat, aptly named “Flame,” has become a permanent and popular fixture at the firehouse. Lide and Tyler Clark-Martin, another firefighter, said being able to interact with Flame helps them decompress after an arduous call and stay alert during down time. After endearing himself so to the rescue workers, they decided to share their new friend with the world.

“We decided to start an Instagram account with him. We just thought it would be something to do to keep us entertained,” Lide said. “Before we knew it, it just started blowing up with followers.” Under the handle “Flame the Arson Cat,” Flame now has nearly 16,000 followers on Instagram.

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(PHOTO: GREENVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT)

Lide and his colleagues post photos of Flame, lounging and playing throughout the station, along with comments on behalf of the cat. Flame’s presence on Instagram has garnered attention from all over the world and as far away as New Zealand, Lide said.

Flame recently found himself in the national spotlight with an appearance on “My Cat from Hell.” The show airs on the Animal Planet channel and features cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy. Flame appeared on the July 1st episode during a segment of the show that features extraordinary cats.

“It’s weird because it’s like you can tell he cares about us,” Clark-Martin told WYFF. “That’s a big part of a long, tiring day.” Flame does not accompany firefighters on calls, but he does help them raise awareness for responsible pet ownership and fire safety.

And how is fame treating Flame? “He gets more mail than anybody else here,” Lide said. “His followers just send him packages and gifts.”

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(PHOTO: GREENVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT)

For the full article visit http://www.wyff4.com/

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