In the midst of all the chaos during a fire at Donnell Ford in Boardman on Friday was a moment of celebration.
Hours after the fire started, crews were able to get inside of the building to save a cat who lives at the car dealership.
“This was a very challenging fire,” said Boardman Fire Chief Mark Pitzer. “We got the call about 4:10 this morning and upon arrival of our first crew, the fire was already through the roof in the showroom area.”
The cat named Shelby is dearly loved by employees.
“She is stressed sometimes but she is a good people cat. She loves to be around people,” said Patty Miconi, who works at the dealership.
Luckily, her cries for help were heard Friday morning.
“We found the cat. He was in the bathroom in its litterbox, and we retrieved it and came back outside with it, and he was very happy for us to find it,” said Beaver Township Fire Captain Leonard Vanpelt.
Firefighters put a small pet oxygen mask on Shelby. The mask was donated to the fire department by Never Muzzled.
Shelby was taken to Angels for Animals to get checked out. She is stressed out and having breathing issues, but she will be OK.
Miconi couldn’t believe it when she heard about the fire.
“I put the news on and I seen the building just up in flames, and the first thing I thought of is Shelby,” she said. “I thought for sure she’d be gone.”
She is amazed Shelby survived a large showroom full of smoke and fire.
“I thought for sure she would be gone. I would have never made it through that,” Miconi said.
She said Shelby will be staying at her house now. She’ll take her back to Angels for Animals for another check-up in a week.
Miconi has worked at the dealership for the last seven years. She said it’s just devastating.
“It’s a sad thing. I never lost anything in a fire or something like that and now I know what it feels like, what people go through. But at least we got Shelby.”
Miconi will work at another location for the time being, but they are still sorting all of that out.