Cat saves 2 from 2-alarm fire in San Mateo

A cat saved the lives of two people from a two-alarm fire Thursday morning in San Mateo that caused about $400,000 in damage to a home, a fire battalion chief said.

The fire was reported at 4:47 a.m. at 3256 Los Prados St., San Mateo Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Novelli said.

The caller reported that an attached garage was on fire, but when firefighters arrived they found the garage engulfed in flames and a home on the right also on fire.

Firefighters put out the fire to the adjacent home and then started on the garage where the fire apparently started. The fire extended from the garage to the attic of the home, so firefighters went inside to rescue anyone and found the cat, Novelli said.

The cat was rescued and the owner took it to an emergency veterinarian clinic as firefighters set to put out the fire in the attic.

Novelli said according to the owner’s boyfriend, the cat woke him up by meowing and making a lot of noise. The cat had bells on its neck.

The man initially thought someone was trying to break into the home.

“The cat was actually the saving grace,” Novelli said.

He did not know late this morning what the cat’s condition was, but it was moving and breathing when firefighters brought it outside.

The fire did an estimated $75,000 in damage to the property in the home. Investigators do not suspect arson, but they won’t rule it out until an investigation is complete.