Sept. 8, 2008
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - When you think of a fire department, the mascot that usually comes to mind is a dalmation dog, but while fighting a blaze at a columbus home this past weekend, firefighters rescued a litter of kittens.
Now, the men and women who work at Fire Station Number 6 in Columbus are taking care of the 2-week-old furry felines - 4 of them.
It all started at 2:00 a.m. Sunday - firefighters were putting out an intense blaze at a garage.
"As we were going over hot spots, we could hear some noise - we didn't know they were cats initially. We could hear the screeching," Columbus fire medic Rodney Boles said.
It was meowing, just as the kittens are now doing from the fire station now.
"Firefighter stewart found the kittens up under some debris and after about 5 minutes, we were able to retrieve all the kittens," Columbus fire Sgt. Ashley Thompson said.
One cat didn't survive, but they rescued 4 - firefighters naming the kittens Smoky, Amber, Hot Spot, and Signal 20, which means a fully involved fire.
Firefighters call their new feline friends a morale booster, on a job that can be very stressful. They feed the kittens every 2 hours - milk through a syringe for the tiny animals.
"Whatever life we can preserve is good. It just goes to show everybody at the station every day, even the littlest life counts," Columbus firefighter Joe Sandoval told us.
The kittens may have used up at least one of their 9 lives this time, but at least 2 of those kittens have already been adopted by Columbus firefighters and EMTs.
"Firemen have decided, I'm going to take them, maybe good luck, whatever you want to call it," Boles said.