Zara the cat refused to leave her hiding spot, preventing her owner from evacuating, which the man thinks ended up saving his life
The Camp Fire — which started in Butte County, California, on Thursday and is just one of several wildfires burning through the state — is responsible for the deaths of at least 48 people.
One man from Paradise — an area of Northern California caught in the Camp Fire’s path — says he was spared from being part of that statistic thanks to his cat.
According to KGO, a senior man who wishes to not be identified, recently found his home, where he lives alone with the cat, surrounded by flames. Overwhelmed by the inferno, the man rushed to leave but could not find his cat Zara, who was hiding from the commotion of the fire somewhere inside.
RELATED: 27,000 People Told to Evacuate California Town of Paradise Due to Impending Wildfire
Refusing to leave Zara behind to perish in the blaze, the man decided to stay put on his front porch. His stubborn cat likely saved his life: The Paradise resident told KGO that he watched as other homes on his block were consumed by flames, though the fire never reached his own house.
The man says that rescuers told him he could have died if he tried to make his way out of the area while the fire was roaring through. Unfortunately, many of the 48 people who have lost their lives during the Camp Fire died when they were trying to escape the wildfire in their cars and were overwhelmed by the flames.
The man told KGO he feels grateful that his home was spared and that Zara decided to stay put in her hiding spot.