Despite firefighters' efforts to save her, a black cat named Blue Princess has died after a mid-morning fire at a Tampa home.
"The cat ran out and was on fire and it was smoking, so I sprayed it with a light fog to cool it down and kept an eye on it so it would stay out of trouble," Tampa Fire Rescue firefighter Aaron Taylor said. "Once the fire was out, we came back and put it on oxygen."
Firefighters wrapped the cat in a white towel and put her into a cardboard box while she was given oxygen. She was taken to Gandy Animal Hospital, where she died, said Sharon Singer, who lives next door.
Blue Princess was one of six cats in the home at 4704 W. Bay View Ave. when the screened-in back porch caught fire about 10 a.m.
Two more cats also died. Three cats are still missing, Singer said.
"Most pets have a tendency to hide when there's a fire, and it makes it difficult to find them in the smoke and even afterward because they're frightened," district Chief Toby Hart said.
"I'm just hoping the others were able to find a good hiding place and stay safe," the cats' owner, Kathy Werner, said. "I'm just so sad this has happened."
The Red Cross is helping Werner find a place to stay.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. No people were injured.