Page last updated at 18:44 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 19:44 UK

Cat saves man from burning home

Hugo is a regular visitor to Mr Williams' home

A pet cat is being hailed a hero after saving a man from his burning home.

Engineer Andrew Williams was asleep when the fire broke out at his bungalow in Bracknell in Berkshire.

As black smoke filled the property, his neighbour's cat Hugo came through a cat-flap and raised the alarm by clawing at the father-of-two's face.

Rescuers said that the fire could have killed Mr Williams if he had not been awoken by Hugo. A smoke detector had been moved during work on the bungalow.

The fire, which broke out at the family home in Birch Hill at about 0200 BST on 1 August, was caused by an electrical fault.

The fire chief said that I had better buy the cat a big piece of fish because he saved my life
Andrew Williams

Mr Williams had removed a smoke detector from his ceiling while decorating and moved it to a different place. It only activated after he had been woken up.

He said he then went into "autopilot", calling the fire service and trying to put out the blaze himself.

Mr Williams, whose wife Sarah was visiting her sister at the time, was treated at the scene after breathing in smoke.

Hugo and his brother Harvey are regular visitors to the cat lover's home.

Andrew and Sarah Williams
Mrs Williams was visiting her sister during the fire

Mr Williams said: "I was woken up with Hugo sitting on top of me clawing at my face. He was trying to wake me up.

"The fire chief said that I had better buy the cat a big piece of fish because he saved my life.

"I'm just so thankful to that little fella."

A spokesman for Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue said: "We are delighted that this very fire-aware cat was able to alert the family on this occasion.

"This just highlights the importance of having working smoke detectors inside your home."


Hugo saved the father-of two from his burning home by clawing at his face

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