Heroic cat alerts man to two-alarm blaze

From our local ABC affiliate:

BURLINGAME, Calif. Nov. 21, 2007 (BCN) – A man slept soundly this morning while a fire burned his home in the unincorporated Burlingame Hills area of San Mateo County, fire officials said.

Luckily, the man's cat woke him and alerted him to the blaze, Central County Fire Department Battalion Chief Ed Barton said.

The fire burned the man's home, which is a guesthouse located in front of a house located at 3037 Canyon Road, Barton said.

The two-alarm fire was burning when the man woke to put his howling cat outside, Barton said. The man went back to bed but woke again to the cat's insistent meowing.

When the man got out of bed to attend to the cat, he saw the fire and called 911 at about 5:21 a.m., Barton said.

The cat was not harmed by the blaze, and the man appears to have escaped safely as well.

What makes this story particularly significant is that I saw this fire. I happened to be staying in the Burlingame/Hillsborough hills above the canyon. I heard the sirens and saw the smoke, and then the fire, which looked to be quite large (as “guest houses” can sometimes be in this area). Many of you may have read about our nasty wildfire season here in California, so there is always a small worry of a house fire spreading up a canyon – fortunately, the weather has been pretty cold and damp lately.

Fires are terrible events. It was fortunate that both the cat and the man were safe.