Tony the Hero Fire Cat


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By Karen Harrison Binette



Tony the cat is both a hero and a survivor.

Tony, named for St. Anthony, saved his petmom, Robin Lawsons, by getting her attention when a fire broke out at their Fairborn, Ohio home one morning in January.

Robin felt terrible that while Tony saved her from the fire with his meows, she was not able to save him from getting severe burns. She heard his meows but was unable to find him amid the smoke and flames.

Fortunately, firefighters located Tony and brought him out of the home. His stomach and paws were on fire when he was found and he suffered third degree burns. He was taken to Towne and Country Animal Clinic to be treated for his burn injuries.

“This is the worst one that I’ve had that survived,” said Dr. David Kocher, Owner, Towne and Country Animal Clinic, when he spoke to WRGT-TV for a story toward the end of March. “He was huffing and puffing. It was, it was very close for a while.”

“It’s like a bad dream,” Robin told WRGT.

She credits Tony with saving her life and feels a special bond with her hero cat.

“Cats pick you out, you always know, you always know,” she said.

Robin was asleep in bed with her dog by her side as the apartment became engulfed in flames. She woke when she heard Tony meowing very strangely, almost like an alarm call.

“It wasn’t a meow meow, or an attitude yowl,” she said, “It was just a consistent meow.”

“I saw fire one to my left, one around the room, thick smoke, and I heard him, and I couldn’t, I couldn’t figure out where he was,” she said.

“Watching your apartment burn, and you know that you got a beloved animal you can’t get to,” Robin said, trailing off.

Telling of the moment when she knew Tony had been found, Robin said: “Man I heard that door go down and I heard someone yelling they got the cat! They got the cat!”

Not only was Tony on fire when he was found, he’d been overcome and wasn’t breathing.

Tony was revived by the story’s other heroes – the firefighters who rescued him and saved his life.

“What [the firefighters] did means more to me, you can lose everything, you can lose everything and as long as you can walk away with the creatures that you love, then it’s a success,” Robin said.

The clinic collected donations from the public to help pay for Tony’s medical care.

WRGT visited Robin and Tony at the clinic in late March for a feature on the hero cat.

Watch the WRGT-TV FOX 45 News report on the story:

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2 thoughts on “Tony the Hero Fire Cat”

  1. Nice to hear that a cat was saved from dying in a fire. My four cats didn’t make it through my house fire, although one was found alive in the basement with her tongue out as she gasped for air. I only later realized she was baked and had to let her go. I grieve daily. The only babies I’ll ever have are gone.

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