For one Fort McMurray cat, it turned out the best place to ride out a raging wildfire was inside a stove. Jody Lishchynsky says that’s where firefighters found her black cat Tux when they were going through the rubble of what used to be her house.
From what she understands, firefighters are speculating an explosion in the home might have blown out the stove glass, and Tux crawled inside. Then another blast or something else caused the appliance to topple onto its side, trapping Tux while simultaneously protecting him from the flames.
Lishchynsky says the day the fire bore down on her neighbourhood in the northern Alberta city was sheer chaos. She had heard neighbourhoods near where she lived were being evacuated, so she headed home to pick up her son and start boxing up photos and important documents. “We gathered for about 15 minutes. We had a nice pile of photos in the kitchen, ready to go,” she says. But then, “the wind shifted, and it jumped the highway. It came down over our hill in minutes. We had to run. We weren’t expecting it at all.”