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Cat lives thanks to firefighter's mouth-to-mouth resuscitation

September 11, 2008 |  3:39 pm

Firefighter Al Machado rescued a cat from a burning apartment Tuesday in New Bedford, Mass, telling the Standard-Times, that he began performing mouth-to-mouth as he carried it outside because, "it really needed air and it couldn't wait."

Video shot at the scene, posted above, shows Machado bent over, breathing into the cat's mouth.

The cat, a tiger angora, was revived and resting comfortably soon after.

Asked what it tasted like to give mouth-to-mouth to a cat, Machado laughed, grimaced and said: "Like fur."

No one was injured in the fire,  but firefighters struggled to save a group of trapped animals. The blaze was called in by the third-floor tenant, the only person in the building at the time, who escaped with his dog.

The first-floor tenant's pets all were saved: two dogs, three cats, a chinchilla, a ferret and some frogs.

On the second floor, two pit bulls were saved with the help of oxygen from paramedics and animal rescue officers, but two cats died in the apartment, which had heavy damage, especially in a bedroom area where fire officials said the blaze started.

The third cat was saved by Machado, who was praised by District Chief Michael Brodeur as a dog lover who doesn't hesitate when an animal needs help.

--Francisco Vara-Orta

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