Firefighters use heat sensor in Moe the cat’s rescue

EVERETT — Inside a smoke-filled home Friday afternoon, a firefighter heard crying. But when he searched the rooms with a heat-detecting camera, expecting to locate the stranded child, he found Moe the cat instead.

“He was listless and crying a lot when they took him out,” Snohomish County Fire District 1 spokeswoman Leslie Hynes said.

Moe was fitted with an oxygen mask and taken to the vet. He is doing fine and is expected to recover, Hynes said.

Firefighters rescued Moe, a big white-and-orange cat, from a Silver Lake area house in the 11500 block of 29th Drive SE, Hynes said.

The crews were called just before 1 p.m.

The fire started in one of the bedrooms of the split-level house while nobody was home, Hynes said.

Firefighters believe a heating lamp that fell from a terrarium located in that room caused the fire.

The lizard that lived in the terrarium perished in the fire, but another pet, a dog that was in the back yard, was not hurt.

Moe the cat was under a lot of stress and was acting out on the way to the vet, Hynes said.

“When we put him in the car, he was kicking and scratching. He was moving a whole lot,” she said.

Moe was transported to an emergency vet clinic Friday afternoon because he had to be on oxygen, Hynes said.

Pets rescued from fires typically get treated with oxygen just like people, she said.

“Human lives are our priority, but when we can rescue a pet safely, we do it.”

Moe isn’t the first pet saved by Fire District 1 crews. Hynes remembers the rescue of several cats, dogs and a rabbit.

She said there are no special measures people can take to ensure their pets’ safety.

“Most of the time, if there is an exit, they can find it and get out,” Hynes said.

Smoke and flames did considerable damage to the house. The man and his adult son who lived there likely will have to stay somewhere else for awhile.

The damage was estimated at $100,000. The local chapter of Red Cross was assisting them Friday, Hynes said.

Reporter Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452 or

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