REAL LIFE

I saved 10 babies from a house fire!

My fur kids are my life

Narelle Brown, 56, Melbourne, Vic

What on earth is that strange noise? I wondered.


I was watching TV in March this year and could hear something crackling. It’s probably one of the animals, I chuckled.


I had five cats, Blue Eyes, Duchess, Lucky, Moe and Bindi, and a pugalier puppy, Tash. Together, we were one big, happy family.

I just love my fur babies.

A volunteer foster carer for Lort Smith Animal Hospital, I was also looking after four kittens at the time. The noise could’ve been any one of them getting up to some mischief!


‘What are you lot doing?’ I called out, heading towards the kitchen.


Then I realised the crackling was coming from my freezer. As I opened the freezer door, there was a bang and flames burst out.

Oh my God, fire!

My first thought was my fur babies. I had to get them out.


Shaking, I put Tash on a leash and helped the four kittens into a carrier. Then I rushed them to my neighbours’ where I called the fire brigade.


Racing back for my other beloved pets, I stared at my home in horror. The whole place was going up in smoke. There was no way I could get back inside.


By the time the firemen arrived I was hysterical.

‘My cats are inside!’ I cried.

I was so worried for my pets.

After what felt like an eternity, Blue Eyes was placed into my arms, followed by Duchess then Lucky. But Bindi and Moe were still trapped.


‘They probably ran away,’ a firey told me gently.


My gut told me otherwise. Peering through the lounge room window, I spotted a tail.

‘Get the carrier!’ I screamed.

Thankfully, this time the firemen emerged with Bindi and Moe. Overjoyed, I kissed each rescuer!


My five cats spent two nights in intensive care being treated for smoke inhalation, while I moved into emergency accommodation. I’d lost everything, so I had to use a litter box for a table!

The aftermath.

‘I’m not letting you out of my sight,’ I told them.

Nine weeks on, we moved home. It turned out the fire had started when the freezer overheated. It could so easily have been a tragedy, but the important thing was my family was back together.

That’s my purrfect ending.

To become a volunteer foster carer like Narelle, visit lortsmith.com

 Originally published in that’s life! Issue 43, 2016. 

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