Wed, Dec 7, 2022 11:42 AM

Kittens saved by a whisker


Paula Hulburt

A trio of kittens caught in an out-of-control blaze have been saved by fire fighters who found them just in time.

Seddon Volunteer Fire Brigade were called to an outdoor rubbish fire that was spreading to a pile of old vineyard posts.

But an hour into the job, a small meow alerted them to the kittens’ plight.

Seddon Volunteer Fire Brigade Deputy Chief Rebecca Stevens says the kittens, now named Singe, Smokey and Sooty, were just minutes away from disaster.

“Singe would only have survived a couple more minutes as he was more exposed.

“The other two were more sheltered by the posts and would have lasted another five minutes.”

Seddon Volunteer Fire Brigade crew member Kat Watson with one of the rescued kittens. Photo: Supplied.

Left with a few singed whiskers, blistered lips and toes, the kittens were rushed to the afterhours vet at Vet Marlborough.

They are now being looked after by a Marlborough Four Paws foster carer.

Rebecca says crews from both Blenheim and Awatere attended the blaze.

“We’d been there a good hour when I heard a meow. We went behind the burning pile and found them underneath; the fire was quite intense.

“They were wet and cold as we’d been putting a lot of water on to supress the fire. They certainly got a lot of cuddles.”

It took crews more than two hours to make the site safe.

Rebecca says people need to be sure that any rubbish fires are supervised and well out before being left.

“Posting about the kittens’ miraculous escape on social media, a spokeswoman from Four Paws said the kittens were doing well.

One of the rescued kittens. Photo: Supplied.

“By some miracle and amazing work from our fire fighters the babies escaped with just a few singed whiskers and blistered toes and lips.

“Thank you so much to the Seddon Fire Brigade, these babies wouldn't be here if it wasn't for your amazing work. A big thank you also to Vet Marlborough.

“These wee kittens have beaten the odds and we can't wait to see them grow.”

Animal rescue charity Marlborough Four Paws is appealing for food and donations for the kittens and the other cats they care for. Visit to find out how to help.

To find out more about volunteering with Seddon Volunteer Fire Brigade or Awatere Fire Brigade visit

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