Sunday, June 19, 2011

Firefighters free kitten from long rusty pipe

Firefighters in California helped rescue a kitten on Wednesday morning after it was found stuck in a rusty pipe. "I don't know how she got in there," said John Clark, an engineer for the Redding Fire Department. Peering down the seven-foot section of 2½-inch diameter pipe, Clark said he could see the kitten's legs tucked tightly underneath it. The pipe was barely bigger than the young female cat's head and its face was about a foot and a half from an end of the pipe.

From Video 1.

A man had dropped the pipe off at the Fire Station just before Clark and Captain Mike Anderson went on duty on Wednesday. The man, who declined to give his name to firefighters, had been doing some work outside his parent's south Redding home and kept hearing the cries of a kitten in distress, said Steve Howard, a Redding Fire captain.

Video 1. Video 2. (This). Video 3.

He found they were coming from the pipe, which was in the yard, and he brought it into the fire station figuring firefighters might be able to free the cat. While the fire department has all sorts of tools for cutting apart wrecked cars or prying into burning buildings, Anderson said they didn't have a tool tender enough to cut the kitten out of its metal confines.

So they called the city of Redding maintenance shop for help. Soon Ralph White and Gary Brown, workers for the city, were at the station with a hand-cranked pipe cutter. After about three minutes of cutting, the kitten was free. Anderson said the kitten was filthy and slow moving once out of the pipe. "We thought it was injured, but it was just rust." Anderson gave the kitten to TV reporter Tracey Leong, who was going to see whether anyone at the station wanted her.

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