Five kittens and their mum were rescued from a house blaze in Tinkers Bridge as a Cats Protection volunteer braved the flames to save them.
Allie Short, who has volunteered for the charity for more than 20 years, visited the house last Monday just after 5pm, to see how the family was doing, as part of her everyday, general fostering work.
After arriving at the house Allie saw it had caught fire and with the owner of the house out, she knew the animals were still inside and that she would need to get in there as quickly as possible to try and rescue them.
She said: “My first thought was that there was a cat and five young kittens trapped in the house and I had to get them out straight away.
“You don’t think of yourself in that situation, I just wanted to get in there and save them, that was all that mattered.”
After neighbours helped her break down the door she ran into the house where she found the mother cat, Charlie, covered in ash at the top of the stairs protecting her kittens.
Charlie was huddled over them and they were found quickly by Allie as the kittens were mewing and squealing in fear.
Allie bundled all six up and got them out of the house before the fire brigade arrived at the scene. The house was smoke damaged upstairs and downstairs.
Allie said: “The mother cat and her kittens were grubby and covered in ash but they’ve now been checked over by a vet and are now all fine and doing well.”
To recognise their lucky escape four of the kittens have been named Ember, Ash, Sooty and Smokey.
Long-standing volunteer Allie has agreed to adopt one of the litter herself – a male tabby cat which she has called Oniki.