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A purr-fect first rescue for SC rookie

Hilton Head firefighter rescues a cat on a hot mobile-home roof, marking his first save as a full-time employee

corey hagan.jpg

Burton Fire Department’s Corey Hagan makes his first career rescue - helping a stranded cat down from a roof.

Sofia Sanchez
The Island Packet (Hilton Head Island, S.C.)

HILTON HEAD, S.C. — Burton Fire District rookie Cory Hagan’s first rescue wasn’t as daring as saving someone from a burning building, but it was plenty memorable.

Firefighters from the Burton Fire District responded to calls about a cat trapped on the roof of a mobile home on Shanklin Road on Tuesday at about 8:30 p.m., according to fire district Capt. Dan Byrne. The cat, which does not belong to the people who live there, had been stuck on the roof of their mobile home since Sunday without food and water, Byrne said.

“They (the homeowners) had no way of getting the cat down,” Byrne said. “They figured the cat will find its way down and, after two days, they called us.”

The cat, nicknamed Reeces by the firefighters, would whine as the homeowners walked by and follow their path on the roof as they made their way to their car, according to Byrne.

Hagan, the 22-year-old firefighter who climbed up to pull the cat to safety, started his first full-time position as a firefighter on June 7, Byrne said. Before that, he was a part-time firefighter for Goose Creek Rural Fire Department in Goose Creek, South Carolina. The second Hagan climbed up the ladder to the roof, the cat ran into his arms, according to Byrne said.

One firefighter considered adopting the cat, Byrne said — until it ran off.

“As soon as they touched the ground, it was clawing to get out and run,” Byrne said. “They feel pretty confident the cat comes from the mobile home park and knows how to get home.”


(c)2021 The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.)

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