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article imageFlorida Firefighters rescue kitten from storm drain

By Lynn Curwin     Nov 15, 2010 in World
Gainesville - A firefighter said the recent rescue of a kitten from a storm drain was the most challenging feline rescue he had ever assisted with, in more than 20 years on the job.
When a woman visiting a Walmart heard a kitten crying for help from several feet below ground on Nov. 14, she decided something had to be done to rescue the animal.
Store employees told her there was nothing they could do so she called 911 and the Gainesville Fire Department arrived.
"I thought this situation would be easy," the Independent Florida Alligator quoted Jeff Lane, fire department district chief, as saying. "But the situation was more complex because of possible hazardous materials in the drainage pipe, such as hydrogen sulfide."
They first removed the grates covering the drainage vault and tried to coax the kitten out with cat food, but were unsuccessful.
Firefighter David Sutton then crawled into the pipe to find the animal.
"At first the kitten did not want to be rescued,” he said. “She clawed and bit at my glove.”
People who had gathered to watch, cheered and applauded when the feline was brought to the surface.
"In all my 20 years, this case is by far the most challenging cat rescue,” Lane said. "Even though we are not in the animal services business, we serve the public and this was a life that needed to be saved."
Diane Brault, an employee of the Walmart where the kitten was found, adopted her on the spot and called her Wallie.
More about Firefighters, Kitten, Drain, Florida
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