Cat saves Australian family from fire

Sydney, Dec 29 | Updated: Dec 30 2006, 05:30am hrs
An Australian family of four owe their lives to their pet cat after the animal prevented a house fire from turning into a tragedy, an official said on Friday. After a mattress caught on fire in the night, the courageous moggie leapt to the aid of its sleeping owner by digging its claws into his face, waking him before the blaze engulfed the family home in north Queensland.

The occupant was woken by the household cat which was scratching his face, alerting (him) to the ensuing dangers, Cairns firefighter Robert White-MacFarlane told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The owner was then able to wake his family, who escaped the blaze and called fire authorities.

Thanks to the animals timely warning, the fire, which investigators believe was sparked by a cigarette, left only minor damage to the Cairns home.

There were alarms throughout the house but the smoke saturation hadnt reached a point where theyd activated the alarms in the adjacent room, White-MacFarlane said.