Originally created 05/12/05

Cat survives fire, house explosion



BRAZIL, Ind. - A cat survived a fire and explosion that destroyed its owners' home and injured a half-dozen firefighters. Two off-duty firefighters found the cat while checking the remnants of Ken Michael's house on behalf of his insurance company.

"They found it up inside the box springs," Michael said. "We took him off to the vet and found out he was perfect."

Ken and Tina Michael's rural home about 15 miles east of Terre Haute exploded from a backdraft during an electrical fire Thursday, injuring six volunteer firefighters from three Clay County departments.

The Michaels and their two sons, ages 8 and 9, were not injured in the fire, which was ruled accidental by the state fire marshal's office. The cat was found alive Thursday night following the fire.

"He was my buddy," Ken Michael said. "If I was at the front of the room, he was at the front of the room."

The Michaels said some of their keepsakes, including all of their photos, also had been salvaged.