Birmingham cat family given life-saving oxygen after fire

Image source, WMFS
Image caption,
Fire crews nursed the cats who were handed to the RSPCA after being treated

A family of four cats were given life-saving oxygen after becoming overcome with smoke from a house fire.

The felines were given individual masks to help revive them after the blaze in a kitchen in Balsall Heath, Birmingham, on Thursday evening.

Firefighters cradled mum Gracie and kittens Optimistic, Tiger and Skylight as they treated them with specialist equipment outside the bungalow.

No-one was hurt in the fire, West Midlands Fire Service said.

The firefighters from Highgate and Bournbrook were praised for their efforts to save the pets, who were later handed over to the RSPCA.

More than 50% of the kitchen in Cobden Gardens was damaged, with 100% of the home becoming smoke-logged hence the need to resuscitate the animals as fast as possible, the service said.

Image source, RSPCA
Image caption,
Mum Gracie and kittens Optimistic, Tiger and Skylight were treated with specialist cat-sized masks

Animal collection officer Cara Gibbon helped check over the animals - seven-year-old Gracie, Tiger and Skylight who are three months old and seven-month-old Optimistic - after responding to a call from firefighters at about 19:30 GMT.

They were taken to Birmingham Animal Hospital and vets said they were doing well and would be able to return home soon.

"They are really, really lucky to have been rescued and given oxygen so quickly because animals can so quickly be overcome by smoke," the RSPCA said.

"They are doing really well and hopefully will be home for Christmas so we're really pleased."

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Fire engines in the West Midlands have been issued with four types of the specialist pet oxygen masks which can give aid to very small creatures up to large dogs, the charity said.

The blaze was started by an unattended incense burner, prompting the fire service to warn people not to leave burning items unattended.

Image source, WMFS
Image caption,
Firefighters helped revive each cat outside the property in Balsall Heath

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