Cat saves owners from flat blaze

A COUPLE were saved from a fire in their second floor flat after their cat alerted them to the blaze.Firefighters said the batteries had been removed from the smoke alarms in the Chelmsford property and the incident could have been far more serious had the cat not woken its owners.

A COUPLE were saved from a fire in their second floor flat after their cat alerted them to the blaze.

Firefighters said the batteries had been removed from the smoke alarms in the Chelmsford property and the incident could have been far more serious had the cat not woken its owners.

The couple woke their neighbours in Wheatfield Way to warn them about the fire at about 4am yesterday.

It started after a fan heater was left on and a nearby chair caught alight.


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Neighbour Wendy Mawdsley and her children Travis, 19, Ben, 18, and Zoe, 16, said they all rushed out of their home.

Ms Mawdsley said: “They woke us up and said there was a fire. We had all just got out of bed and went downstairs - it was absolutely freezing. Later the firefighters let us come back inside.

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“The cat had gone mad and woken them both up.”

Unfortunately, the cat was accidentally shut back inside the flat and had to be rescued by firefighters. It took shelter in the Mawdsley's flat before going with its owners to stay with relatives.

Ms Mawdsley added: “They were allowed back into the flat to take what they could and they came out with a handful of clothes each.

“Their beds are gone, his medication, their credit cards - everything.”

Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said his 81-year-old mother had been treated for smoke inhalation at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford after the fire.

The pensioner, who has since been allowed home, breathed in the fumes after they came under the adjoining wall.

A spokeswoman for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said the flat was now uninhabitable and the couple had been rehoused.

She added: “The smoke alarm batteries had been removed and so without the cat this couple may never have known about the blaze until it was too late.”

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