Photographer Drops Everything To Rescue 2 Kittens From Blazing Brush Fire

Written by: Dina Fantegrossi
Dina Fantegrossi is the Assistant Editor and Head Writer for HomeLife Media. Before her career in writing, Dina was a veterinary technician for more than 15 years.Read more
| Published on October 26, 2016

A photographer’s job is to record history, but every now and then they become a part of it in the process. Carlos Pacheco was capturing images of a controlled brush fire in Grandin, North Dakota when he heard meowing.

Two tiny gray kittens were caught up in the pile of limbs – one trapped beneath the flames and the other nearby gasping for breath in the heavy smoke.

Mr. Pacheco risked his own safety to pull the terrified cats to safety. He described the scene to Valley News Live:

“It was too hot for me to even get close to it, which is why I was surprised that the cat was even in it. I had to shield myself with my jacket to even attempt to grab her,”

We need lots of prayer for these two little babies tonight. Late this afternoon I got a call from a photographer who…

Posted by CATS Cradle Shelter on Saturday, October 15, 2016


He placed the gravely injured kittens into a box and rushed them to CATS Cradle Shelter for emergency care. Dawn Barth, a shelter volunteer, feared they may not survive their injuries.

Pyro, the female who had been inside the fire suffered smoke inhalation, severe burns on all four paws and a life-threatening drop in body temperature due to shock.

The little male – named Maniac (aka: Manni) – had no outward signs of injury, but was actually in even worse shape than Pyro. He was extremely shocky and suffering from severe smoke inhalation.

The shelter told Love Meow:

“Both kittens were in shock when they arrived at CATS Cradle so we took them to the Emergency clinic where they were immediately put into an incubated oxygen chamber.”

After two days of intense veterinary care, it was clear that Py and Manni were going to make it. The two survivors embraced each other – bandages and all – when well enough to be reunited.

They are now being fostered by Barth who says they eat like “little chow hounds” and are extremely playful. Little Pyro even manages to run around and bat her toys with her bandaged paws.

Pacheco, the heroic photographer who saved their lives is considering adopting the two – it’s important to him that the bonded pair he risked his life to save remain together.

CATS Cradle is a nonprofit organization that depends on donations and grants to rescue cats in need. A crowdfunding campaign on GivingGrid has already exceeded their goal in support of the “Little Firefighter Kittens.” Additional funds raised will go towards the other cats in their care.

Follow Pyro and Manni’s progress as they grow bigger and stronger on the CATS Cradle Facebook page!


Pyro and Manni have recovered and found a forever home… with their rescuer, Carlos, and his girlfriend, Shaina! What a purrfect family for these two kittens.