When a building caught on fire with 20 innocent cats and kittens inside, Jean Favini, acted fast.
As the President of Oasis for Animals in Langeley, Washington, she disobeyed warnings to not enter the building and charged into a room filled with toxic smoke. She put her own life on the line to help the animals who couldn’t save themselves.
The fire began on the top floor of the rescue building where kittens and a few adult cats were cared for. According to the fire department, the cause of the fire was a faulty microwave.
“The microwave that started the fire somehow burst into flames when no one was in the room or using it,” Jean told Love Meow. “It generated a thick, black toxic smoke so I couldn’t see anything. A minute longer and there would have been no chance for the poor cats.”
“The microwave was only about a year old and not used very often. There was plastic bowls, containers and some cat food that comes in plastic cups all on top or next to it, so the smoke was toxic and black.”
The sight was certainly startling: clouds of smoke were billowing into the air. Jean immediately called 911, and though she was advised to stay outside, she knew time was a factor.
Racing into action, she wrapped a towel around her face and began ushering the kitties out to safety.
“I ran out with each armload, put my mouth over each kitten’s nose and mouth and forced air into their lungs as best I could.
They were laying on the floor and I thought they wouldn’t survive. The smell was just awful and so toxic.”
Carefully, Jean placed the kittens and cats in carriers, where her husband and firefighters assisted in getting all 24 cats safely out.
Her heroic efforts didn’t end there. She worked closely with the attending vet to treat the surviving cats.
“When the vet left, I continued nebulizer treatments, cleaning the discharge of black soot from their noses, administering fluids, giving them heated beds and trying to get them to eat a little.”
In around-the-clock effort, Jean cleared the fluid in the cats’ lungs and administered antibiotics to protect against infections. Her dedication to help out these furry friends is truly admirable.
Her tireless efforts seemed to have paid off. Though five sadly succumbed to toxic smoke inhalation, 14 kittens and five adult cats are on the road to recovery.
“The survivors are receiving constant medical care and should recover,” Jean added.
Thanks to Jean’s bravery and crucial rescue, the tough feline survivors can live to see another day.
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