A family whose home was nearly destroyed in a fire on Thanksgiving is now crediting a family cat for saving them.
Justin Benjegerdes tells us that the cat, named “Miyu,” alerted him when he heard the cat meowing in the baby monitor and again at the door of the bedroom where his infant daughter was sleeping.
“I went to let her out and when I opened the door, a plume of smoke came out,” Justin said.
Because the bedroom door was closed, Justin thinks the smoke alarm may not have detected the fire quickly enough, which Forest City Fire Chief Mark Johnson believes was sparked by electrical overload.
Justin and the two children escaped safely, but the house appears to be heavily damaged.
“I used to be on the Fire Department in Manly, so I had an idea of what to expect,” Justin said. “It’s bad enough when it’s someone else’s home but it’s a completely different feeling when it’s your own stuff.”
The heat in the living room was so intense it melted pictures on the wall. All of their personal belongings were lost, including special mementos including the baby blanket their daughter was in when brought home from the hospital.
Members of the community have offered help for clothes and furniture and a GoFundme page has been set up.
The family is temporarily living in the grandmother’s house. The family’s two dogs and three cats are staying with the wife’s parents.