Family pet alerts Aberdeen family of fire - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Family pet alerts Aberdeen family of fire

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 “It was coming out that back door when the firemen arrived. Flames were about 4 feet high,” Terry Marko said about his garage that caught fire late Saturday night in Aberdeen. Luckily the fire didn’t spread to the attached house. The Marko’s say that was all thanks to Ashton.

Ashton is a 17-year-old cat, and the Marko’s claim they are still alive thanks to him. “We’d gone to bed, and this cat started nudging my wife in the face. She told him, ‘Ashton, leave me alone, I want to sleep,’ and she sat up in bed to put him on the floor. Then she said ‘there’s smoke in the house!’” Terry said.

Terry says Ashton is always rubbing up on people, but this was the first time he had ever nudged at someone’s face. Terry said he is shocked the cat has so much life still in him, being so old.

“Pretty quick we expect him [to die] any minute. I thought he was dead yesterday morning. I came outside, and he was lying stiff, but nope, he’s alive,” Terry said.

Who knows how long Ashton will be alive, but he is a life saver. He didn’t just save the house and his owners. He also saved some other family pets, two dogs and another cat.

Firefighters got all the animals out safely. On one of the dogs they had to use a unique animal oxygen mask. This was the first time they have ever used it.

“We keep them on the truck, and we’ve had them a couple years. This is actually the first chance we’ve had to use it,” Aberdeen Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief, Stacy Vrchota said.

“A small dog was looking a little lethargic and tired after the fire. He tolerated the mask. It was a good outcome, Vrchota added.

The masks were donated to the Fire Department by a local girl scout. They come in all sizes, even so small that if he had needed to, Ashton the life-saving cat, could have used one.
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