Cats rescued from fire given oxygen (+picture)

Firefighter John Lucas, from Beaconsfield Fire Station, is pictured giving oxygen therapy to one of the cats rescued.

18 December 2008

Firefighters rescued six cats and gave them oxygen therapy following a fire in Lane End yesterday morning.

They used masks designed to administer oxygen to babies. Unfortunately a seventh cat died.

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service was called to the fire in Firs Close, which is believed to have been started by an overheated multi-plug adaptor in the kitchen, at 10.16am.

Firefighters from High Wycombe and Beaconsfield were able to contain the fire to the kitchen using one hose reel and two sets of breathing apparatus. There was smoke damage to the rest of the house.

Station Manager Mark Watson, who was at the incident, said: “Although there was no-one in the house at the time, and the smoke alarm downstairs was sounding, there were no working batteries in the smoke alarm on the first floor.

“A house fitted with working smoke detectors - and people reacting to them - gives us a much better chance of saving lives.”

Terry Ridgley, head of Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's Community Safety team, said: “When fires break out, which is often during the night, smoke alarms provide a vital early warning sign - indeed, they are often your only warning.

“It is important to have working smoke alarms fitted on every level of your home.”

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service will carry out a free safety check of your home and fit free smoke detectors where necessary.

Smoke alarms detect fires at their earliest stages and give a loud warning to help you and your family to get out safely.

Ring 01296 744477, send an email to or use the online form to book an appointment.

Advice if you are fitting your own smoke alarms:

  • Fit one smoke detector to each floor at least 30 centimetres (12 inches) away from any wall or light fitting at ceiling level.
  • Make sure your detector has the British Standard Kitemark on it.
  • If you have a one-year smoke detector, test the battery once a week and change the battery annually. Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service recommends 10-year tamper-free detectors fitted with push buttons. These are available from all DIY stores.