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Last Updated: Friday, 29 October, 2004, 15:42 GMT 16:42 UK
Design duo's cat hailed fire hero
Colin and Justin
Colin and Justin were saved from fire by their pet cat
The cat belonging to Scottish design duo Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan has been hailed a fire safety hero.

When a blaze occurred in the Glasgow home of the TV pair, Felix raised the alarm, by constantly meowing.

Apparently, sunlight had bounced off a goldfish bowl and acted as a giant magnifying glass, causing a table in the lounge to burst into flames.

Felix is the first animal to receive the Scottish Executive's Don't Give Fire a Home fire safety award.

It was established last year and recognises heroic efforts in the face of fire.

On Friday, Felix was presented with a special certificate, a specially branded medal and a new food bowl by representatives from Strathclyde Fire Brigade.

As interior designers, we fully understand how devastating it would be to lose one's home and valuable possessions
Colin McAllister
Colin, one half of the duo who present Channel Five's How Not to Decorate, said: "Felix is a true feline hero and we are immensely proud of him.

"The Don't Give Fire A Home Award is a happy ending to a potentially tragic tale.

"Felix is recognised for his brave endeavours, our fish Bits and Bob have cooled down and are now swimming around happily, and we luckily escaped the consequences of our home being damaged by fire.

"If there's a lesson here it's that you should always assess your home for likely causes of fire, however unusual.

"As interior designers, we fully understand how devastating it would be to lose one's home and valuable possessions.

"We won't be nearly as complacent about the risk of fire from now on."

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Stephen McKee of Strathclyde Fire Brigade said that Felix was a "very worthy recipient" of the award.

He said: "Admittedly, when we conceived the award, we had human acts of bravery in mind, but as soon as we heard this story we knew that the cat should be honoured.

"We strongly urge people to look more closely at the risk of fire in their homes, as fires can be caused by everything from sunlight reflections to seemingly innocent household items such as night candles, mobile phone chargers and tumble driers.

"If Felix's actions inspires people to re-assess their home's safety, then his heroism will truly know no bounds."

The Don't Give Fire A Home campaign has just launched its new website and home risk assessment leaflet, Your Guide to Fire Safety, which helps identify potential fire hazards in the home.

The guide will be distributed by all eight Scottish fire brigades and copies of the booklet can be downloaded online.

People can also text FIRE to 84118 to have a copy of the leaflet delivered.


SEE ALSO:
Award for fire hero Dean
25 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Boy's fire action saves family
20 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Scots would miss mementoes most
17 Nov 03  |  Scotland


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