A woman whose home was devastated by fire is hoping the power of the community will help her find her beloved pet cats.
June Hart Jones and her family had a lucky escape when their home in Wood End caught fire in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Her husband Kieran suffered some smoke inhalation but she and son Nathan, 14, were unharmed. They also managed to rescue the pet dog Bonnie and tortoise.
But her two pet cats, Star and Marmalade, haven’t been seen since the blaze.
Star is an outdoor cat, and it is hoped she has found refuge somewhere.
Marmalade however, rarely ventures outdoors. June said her step dad had managed to get back into the home to look for him, but nothing has been found, and she hopes that he too managed to escape the fire and is hiding somewhere.
June adopted the cats when her mum passed away, promising to look after them.
Marmalade was particularly badly hit by his owner’s death and was so upset he stopped going to the toilet – leading to him having a catheter fitted.
The family were woken at around 5am on Saturday, November 28, to the sound of fire alarms.
June said her husband went downstairs to see what was going on and ‘still half asleep’ she heard his shouts.
Her first instinct was to put the lights on so that she could find her mobile phone and call 999 – but the lights weren’t working.
Luckily she managed to find the phone, and called the fire brigade whilst trying to wake her son and get him to safety.
“I opened the bedroom door and there was just thick, black smoke,” she said. “It was horrible.”
As June and her son went downstairs, she glanced at the landing where Marmalade had been asleep before they went to bed, but he wasn’t there.
“At that point, I just wanted to get my son out,” she said.
Downstairs, she found her husband ‘almost passed out’.
“He looked at me and said ‘we have to get out,” June said. “Smoke was billowing out of the living room, we couldn’t see upstairs.”
Luckily, the family managed to get to safety.
“I’m so thankful that my son and husband are here, and I’m here,” said June. “It was when I saw all the smoke outside the bedrooms. That’s when it hits you. My son was asleep in there.
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“But the main thing now is finding Star and Marmalade.”
June said she had been overwhelmed with the kindness of her neighbours – many of whom were strangers until the fire happened – who have offered help to the family in many different ways, including looking for her lost cats.
“The last thing mum asked me was to look after her cats,” she added. “We have looked after them so well. Marmalade has been ok since his operation, he is so loving.”
Star is a big, heavy black cat, with a bald patch near her head and a white speck on her neck.
Marmalade is a small, ginger cat, with lots of fur.
Anyone who has seen the cats is asked to email Rachel.firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass the information onto June and her family.
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