Caroline, 30, knew something was wrong when she was woken up at 6am by the hysterical wails of the family cat, Simba. When she tasted smoke she realised the house was on fire and it was a mad dash to get herself, her husband Adi, 32, and their three kids out the house. They have Simba to thank for saving their lives…
By Helen O’Brien Google
I sighed as I climbed into bed next to my husband, Adi.
It was always a challenge getting our three young kids to go to sleep, but they were even more excitable this week as the school holidays were about to start.
But I loved the summer. It could be stressful trying to keep our little monsters entertained for six weeks, but I treasured our trips to the park and the seaside.
It was the last summer before our youngest, Kayden-Rayce, went off to school as he was just about to turn four, so I planned to make the most of it.
As I drifted off to sleep, I couldn’t have known that this would be our most eventful summer yet…
Just before 6am I woke suddenly to a terrible, screeching sound.
It was our Bengal cat, Simba, and I knew the sound as he would holler at me most mornings to let him out.
But this time it was different, it was a constant, hysterical noise.
As I sat bolt upright, a terrible taste choked me. Smoke!
I could barely see through the thick, black smoke that was billowing around the bedroom we had shared for 10 years.
The heat was stifling and panic struck me as I shook Adi awake.
Instinctively, we raced to get the kids up and out of the house alongside our two dogs.
Simba was still wailing as we got to the end of the garden path and suddenly there was an explosion and flames ripped through the ground floor of our beloved home.
Firefighters arrived within minutes and did what they could, but downstairs was completely gutted after the fridge exploded.
As the paramedics checked us over, one of the firemen told us that if we had been asleep for another 30 seconds the smoke would have stopped us from waking up and it could have been a completely different ending.
Sadly, we lost our other cat, Rosie, in the blaze, but the rest of us, including Simba, escaped completely unscathed.
We’re currently renting a house nearby but we’re hoping to be back home in time for Christmas – the kids are desperate for Santa to deliver their presents to their old rooms.
We lost nearly all of our possessions in the fire, but the community have supported us with clothes and donations.
And, thanks to our purrfect pet, Simba, at least we still have each other.
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