POTTSVILLE -- Fire officials in Pottsville believe the extreme cold took a toll on a furnace, overworking it, and causing a home to fill with smoke. The family cat is being credited with saving their lives.
Pottsville first responders were called to a home on North Second Street. The house was filled with smoke. Firefighters had to pump it out. Investigators blame a malfunctioning furnace. The family says their pet cat alerted them. They were asleep at the time.
“My daughter came into the room and got me up and what got her up was the cat. The cat actually saved all of our lives,” John Parry explained. “I am just glad to be alive though I could have been dead…Yep, Jim (the cat) saved our lives.”
Neighbor Jennifer Brode was impressed with the cat.
“I can believe that. Animals can do the funniest things sometimes.”
Brode says she was worried the smoking furnace would turn into a fire.
“I yelled to my kids ‘get your snow pants ready’ because you never know these row homes go up. Sometimes you never know.”
Fire Chief Todd March predicts there will be more heating system problems during the current cold snap. The chief hopes furnace malfunctions won't catch the homes on fire.
“The heating systems are really being pushed to the limits now in this cold weather. If there are any problems, it’s going to show up just like here,” said the chief. “This weather is going to tax the fire departments in this whole area.”
Fire officials say if you have any concerns about how your heating system is working, call a professional.