FDNY Firefighter XXXX.
Photo credit: Couresty of NY Post/Paul Martinka
One life down, eight to go!
Firefighters rescued a lucky little kitten on Wednesday from a smoky Borough Park house fire and reunited it with its elderly owners, who also escaped the blaze uninjured, authorities said.
The fire broke out at 9:47 a.m. in the rear of the first floor at 1250 38th Street, where Raymond Echevarria, 81, and his wife Mary, 83, lived with about a half dozen cats, neighbors said.
The FDNY had the blaze under control by 10:21 a.m. as the distraught couple stood stunned outside of the three-story home, holding their hands to their heads with worry.
But then 21-year veteran firefighter Kevin Anderson of Ladder Co. 114 calmly walked out of the home clutching the frightened feline to his chest.
Anderson walked over and passed the serendipitous pussy to a relieved Raymond, who cradled it to his chest as it sunk its tiny claws into his heavy flannel shirt, hanging on for dear life.
Three firefighters suffered minor injuries and were taken to Maimonides Medical Center for treatment.
The couple’s other cats were apparently able to flee the house on their own, and a few could be seen slinking back after the flames were extinguished.
Anderson, 42, said he was among firefighters searching for victims when he spotted the kitten, which he said was about 3 weeks old, cowering in a corner of the home’s middle room.
“Cats are good with the smoke, that’s why they have nine lives, and he or she was close to the ground,” he said.
Anderson - a cat owner himself - said he walked outside and asked Raymond “Is this you cat?” and that the octogenaraian broke into a smile and said “Oh yeah, thank you thank you!” as he handed him over.
Catty neighbors said the couple love cats in a big way.
“They feed all the cats in the neighborhood, they put food out for them. They like their cats,” said one neighbor, who didn’t want to give her name.
Authorities are still investigating what started the blaze.
Republished with permission of The New York Post.