London Fire Brigade

Firefighters save kitten from engine

05 April 2016

Firefighters were called upon yesterday to rescue a tiny kitten from inside the engine of a van. The kitten ran out in front of a British Gas van on Hammersmith Road and unexpectedly jumped into the engine when the driver applied his breaks.

The RSPCA was called out but were unable to locate the cat, so they called for assistance from the Brigade. Firefighters lifted the van, stripped the undercarriage and brought the kitten to safety.

The male kitten, who has been named Wolfie after Thomas Wolfe, the firefighter who helped to rescue him, is recuperating at RSPCA Putney Animal Hospital.

Stereotype of firefighters rescuing cats is nonsense!

Watch Manager Thomas Wolfe from Kensington fire station rescued the kitten, he said: "It was such a tiny kitten it was quite hard to find as it had got itself right into the engine.

"It took me about 45 minutes to locate him and get him safely out. I was relieved to see him unharmed as I handed him over to the RSPCA.

"Our advice is always to call the RSPCA if you see an animal stuck somewhere, and then if they need our help, they'll call on us, as they did on this occasion.

"In my 20 years as a firefighter this is only the second cat I've had to rescue. It goes to show that the old stereotype about firefighters always rescuing cats is nonsense!"

Speaking about the experience, British Gas engineer Charlie Goodchild said: "It's not every day that a kitten jumps into your engine; I certainly wasn't expecting it.

"When the fire brigade lifted my van and rescued Wolfie, I was amazed and delighted that he had no marks and is as right as rain."

Charlie's manager, Kevin Richards, has taken a shine to Wolfie and said: "He's a beautiful black fluffy kitten, with big blue eyes. If I manage to convince my wife, I'd love to adopt him if his owners don't come forward."

A tiny ball of fluff

RSPCA animal collection officer Jill Sanders said: "Poor Wolfie has been through quite an ordeal – he is only a tiny ball of fluff but he has caused quite a commotion. 

"He is now recovering from his adventure at Putney Animal Hospital and he looks set to make a full recovery, which is fantastic news."

If anyone recognises the kitten they can call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.