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Local cat given hero status after alerting family to fire

Drack the cat may be almost 11 years old, but he knew what to do when he noticed something wrong in his family’s home. When a fire broke out underneath their trailer in Clairmont early Thursday morning, he rubbed his owner’s face until she woke up.

As she tried to push him away, he bit her arm hard to make sure she paid attention. That’s when Brandy Carifelle says she noticed the smell of smoke, and found the source of it behind the dryer in her laundry room.

“And then when I moved the dryer back I noticed more smoke was coming out from it, and then all of a sudden black smoke started coming out from the dryer vent. I thought there may be something in the dryer caught or there was lint in the vent, but then the smoke got really black and really thick within a minute.”

The dryer was off at the time, and while the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Carifelle says it looks like it started when a pipe under the trailer burst. It took only three minutes for her to wake up her boyfriend and get their three kids aged 4, 6 and 9 dressed and outside.

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Drack stayed by her side the whole time, but their other cat Fury had to be rescued by firefighters. While never to this extent, Carifelle says the cat has shown good instincts before.

“He’s meowed when there’s somebody around outside, to let us know to let my mom or whoever to come and visit us before they even knocked.”

The fire was contained to the underside of the trailer so they should be able to salvage some of their belongings. Their landlord is working to get them into a new place this weekend, and fortunately they had renter’s insurance.

This will the second time in just six months that the family has had to move. They were forced out of their last place in Grande Prairie in August when there was severe flooding. Carifelle jokes they’re now waiting for the plague.

“We moved out of there in a flood in the summer, and now we’re moving out of our place due to a fire in the winter. There’s going to be cockroaches or centipedes or something coming out of the drain [in our new place].”

In the meantime, both Drack, Fury and their young caretakers seem to be enjoying their new found fame.

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