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Pet Dies After Saving Owner

December 26, 1986

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (AP) _ A cat that wakened its sleeping owner as fire spread through a house Thursday died while the woman fled to safety, firefighters said.

Eva Chesney, 74, ran to a neighbor’s home before realizing the cat, named Kitty, had not followed her outside, Deputy Fire Chief Anthony Zalewski said.

Ms. Chesney said she stumbled downstairs through thick smoke after she heard the cat scratching at her upstairs bedroom door, according to Zalewski. The cat, a stray given to her several months ago, may have saved the woman’s life, Zalewski said, adding: ″Once in a while you hear about something like that.″

Firefighters found the animal on the ground floor, apparently dead of smoke inhalation, he said.

The cause of the basement fire was not known, he said. Damage to the frame house was not extensive, he said.

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