Pet cat warns owner of burning apartment building - KPTV - FOX 12

Pet cat warns owner of burning apartment building

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BEAVERTON, OR (KPTV) -

A kitchen fire spread quickly through a Beaverton apartment building damaging several units on Friday morning.

The fire happened on the 13,000 block of Southwest Electric Street in Beaverton around 9 a.m.

The fire was spreading quickly so fire crews called for a 2nd-Alarm adding more resources to the scene.

It was neighbors who quickly jumped into action warning others the building was on fire, but one man, had help from his fury friend, who warned him to get out.

As that fire broke out people started scrambling to try and escape.

"I was just in my apartment and I smelled a strong stench of smoke and I hear banging. I go outside and the next thing I know, I see the neighbors place all on fire," said Derric Thompson, who escaped the fire.

As flames shot through one apartment and started to spread, neighbors did their best to get people out.

A few units down, Bill the cat, knew something was wrong.

"I was just taking a shower and the cat came running in and started screaming at me like howling and scratching at the door. I came out and heard the banging," said Ted Howlatt, who says his cat warned him of the fire.

Howlatt said he soon realized his building was burning so he quickly grabbed Bill and put him in his carrier and rushed out.

"He kind of was freaking out, running back and forth. There was a lot of smoke coming into the windows and the alarm started to go off, and normally Bill would fight me but he didn't fight me at all," said Howlatt.

As people evacuated, firefighters realized the fire had spread to the attic and was still moving.

Crews called for a second alarm to get more resources on scene.

People could only stand by and watch as part of their building burned.

"It totally concerns me. A lot of the neighbors they woke up and saw smoke in their house and they were extremely caught off guard. Many thought it was their own place," said Nainoa Wilmess, who watched as fire crews battled the blaze.

Fire investigators said the fire started in the kitchen of one unit and spread to two other apartments.

A total of eight units were damaged as a result of this fire.

"That's how scary fire is. Something so small can ignite something like that," said Wilmess.

Fire officials said the building did have some sprinklers at the front door of each unit, but it's only designed to help people get out of a burning building and not extinguish a fire.

One person suffered some burns to their body and was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Investigators said one cat died in the fire.

The Red Cross is assisting those affected by the fire.

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