Fresno firefighters who responded to an apartment complex fire in central Fresno on Friday were able to rescue a kitten, who later clung to the shoulder of one firefighter while emitting high-pitched meows.
The fire broke out around 12:45 p.m. at the four-unit complex at 3307 E. Clay Ave., just east of First Street.
Battalion Chief Larry French said the kitten was found inside a closet in one of the units.
Firefighter Joshua Henry was credited with saving the tiny feline, which did not appear to be distressed from the fire or smoke, French said.
Firefighters said the flames appeared to come from a debris fire in an alley. One witness reported the fire coming from a nearby mattress and garbage can fire, officials said.
That fire eventually reached an attached carport north of the complex and spread to two of the units, which were heavily damaged.
About an hour after it started, officials declared the fire contained and that a kitten had been rescued.
“It was a small kitten,” French said. Its age and gender could not be immediately determined.
The kitten was taken to Fire Station No. 4 at Tulare Avenue and H Street in downtown Fresno, where it is being cared for until a home can be found. If the kitten doesn’t go home with a firefighter, the department will turn to social media, French said.
It’s not uncommon for firefighters to find animals at fire scenes, he said.
“If we have the ability to rescue animals, absolutely we will,” French said.
Battalion Chief Thomas Cope, who was at the fire, said the kitten rescue was a good one.
“We were happy to see him come out of the smoke,” Cope said.