Firefighter 'hero' who saved cat's life with oxygen treatment after fire in Leith named

The cat was not breathing when she was rescued.

Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 1:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th December 2019, 1:25 pm

A firefighter who saved a cat's life by giving it oxygen for half an hour on the street after a fire in Leith has been named.

The two-year-old cat Nala was rescued from a blaze on Sandport Way by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus early yesterday morning.

Nala was unconscious and not breathing when she was found, but firefighter Greg Hamilton used special equipment donated by not-for-profit Smokey Paws to administer oxygen and resuscitate the cat.

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Greg Hamilton gave oxygen to cat Nala.
Greg Hamilton gave oxygen to cat Nala.

Nala came to 'groggy and confused' but has now been seen by a vet and is safe and well with owners Shannon Johnston and her mother Ruth and sister Jasmine.

Watch Commander Robbie Higgins from Marionville Community Fire Station was at the scene.

He said: "Without this specialist equipment we might not have had such a positive outcome.

“Firefighters searched the building and confirmed that all persons were accounted for.

“The situation was assessed and found no risk to human life, before we committed a BA team to find and rescue the cat.

“Oxygen was administered, and the cat was then back on its feet – albeit groggy and confused.”

Owner Shannon Johnston thanked the 'hero' firefighters for saving Nala.

The fire, caused by an electrical plug, destroyed the kitchen and living room of the flat.

Ms Johnston and her mother and sister were out at the time.

Local Senior Officer Paul Devlin leads the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service partnership with Smokey Paws, which is in the process of providing all Scotland's 356 fire stations with special equipment.

The kit involves a small oxygen mask that is designed to fit across an animal’s nose, and can provide emergency care for cats, dogs, and even ponies, calves and reptiles.

He said: “The number one priority for firefighters is to save all life and we have seen on too many occasions the huge impact the loss of a beloved pet can have.

“In November 2015 there was a single Scottish community fire station in possession of one of these kits.

“Four years on it is mind blowing to see first-hand the generosity of so many people and businesses in Scotland who have committed to nominate stations and then purchase kits for distribution to our front-line crews.

“This incident has shown how important these kits are to ensure every member of the family whether human or animal has access to life saving equipment.”