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Homeless Cat Takes Over A Firehouse And Decides To Make Them His Forever Family

Most firehouses look fairly similar. They’re full of heroic firefighters, of course, but they’re all usually brimming with bright red fire trucks, life-saving equipment, those handy fire poles, and…
…Dalmatians! These spotted dogs have a storied history with firehouses, as they acted as alarm systems in the days of horse-drawn carriages. Before sirens, a Dalmatian’s bark would alert people to move out of the way. Because of this historical significance (and because dogs are cute!), many firehouses employ them as their mascots to this day.
But the Belmont Fire Department in Greenville, South Carolina, has a four-legged mascot that doesn’t exactly fall in line with tradition, and it’s all thanks to one special animal who simply showed up one day and never left…
The story goes that the fire chief went out one day, and when he returned to the station, this little fella was sitting inside waiting for him. Amused by the interloping ginger kitty, the fire chief turned to his crew, who shrugged and asserted, “He lives here now.”
The cat, whose name was, appropriately, Blaze, showed up to the station malnourished, and he simply decided he wasn’t leaving. The crew took pity on the indomitable cat and offered him some of the fried chicken from the kitchen’s fridge.
Once Blaze was a permanent member of the firehouse, he seemed to develop his own gravitational pull, because the firefighters couldn’t get enough of him! Here’s one firefighter giving Blaze a nice back scratch. Still, this cat served a more utilitarian purpose at the firehouse, too…
See, Blaze was no deadbeat roommate. He was sure to lend a paw on the day-to-day repair work. Blaze even gave his firefighter pals supportive high-fives! Sometimes, it’s just nice to have someone there to tell you “good job.”
Fire engine repair was just one aspect of the job for Blaze. Sometimes, he performed thorough inspections of all the equipment… or it’s possible he thought those fire hoses were just big strings to swat at.
One thing that surprised all of the firefighters was how at peace Blaze was with all of the noise. Blaring sirens, loud trucks—he slept through it all! It might’ve helped that he had his very own special firetruck blanket, too.
In fact, whenever Blaze curled up in bed for the night, the firefighters at the station tucked him in with his special blanket. It was important that Blaze got a good night’s rest; he had a lot of important work to do every day!
Fire stations are a cat’s dream house. Furnished with hanging uniforms, spacious lockers, and all kinds of equipment, Blaze had the time of his life playing hide-and-go-seek with the firefighters. Can you find him in this picture?
Blaze also helped the firefighters decompress after a tough day on the job. In an Animal Planet interview, one fireman recalled a moment after returning from a brutal fire: “Within thirty seconds of coming home from that fire, [Blaze] came around the corner, and just sat next to me, just kinda like, ‘hey, I’m here if you need me,'” he said.
Fighting fires is tough, dangerous work. Thankfully, Blaze offered these firemen reprieve from all of that. No matter how tough the job might get, these brave men and women knew that Blaze would be waiting for them back at the station.
Blaze meant so much to the crew at the Belmont Fire Department that they honored him with his very own custom cap. Now, Blaze is officially part of the crew—and he even has the official gear to prove it!
The firefighters likely had no idea they would be making such a great friend on the day that Blaze wandered into the station. But because they let him into their home and treated him with kindness, Blaze happily returned the favor. He might not be a Dalmatian, but he sure makes for one heck of a mascot!
Of course, Blaze won’t be bolting from the station, meowing from his speeding firetruck to warn passersby of a nearby fire, but he offers a nice substitute: love and cuddles for all the brave men and women fighting fires in Greenville!

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