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Super kitten's dramatic rescue operation on busy London road

British Gas engineer Charlie Goodchild was on his way to fix a boiler when a kitten ran in front of his van on a busy Hammersmith Road in London this afternoon, becoming trapped in the engine.

The London Fire Brigade and RSPCA were called to help with the delicate rescue operation, which caused a temporary closure of the road.

When the kitten ran in front of his British Gas van Charlie’s natural instinct was to brake, which unexpectedly caused the kitten to run into the vehicle’s engine to seek refuge.

Unsure about the fate of the kitten Charlie called the RSPCA, who advised him not to move the van.

When the RSPCA arrived the kitten could be heard crying, but there was no visible way of getting the animal to safety. The only option available was to call the London Fire Brigade who were able to lift Charlie’s van, strip the undercarriage and bring the kitten to safety.

The male kitten, who has been named Wolfie after the firefighter who helped to rescue him, is recuperating at RSPCA Putney Animal Hospital.

Speaking about the experience, British Gas engineer Charlie Goodchild commented: “It’s not every day that a kitten jumps into your engine; I certainly wasn’t expecting it. When the fire brigade lifted my van and rescued Wolfie, I was amazed and delighted that he had no marks and is as right as rain.” 

Charlie’s manager, Kevin Richards, has taken a shine to Wolfie and said: “He’s a beautiful black fluffy kitten, with big blue eyes. If I manage to convince my wife, I’d love to adopt him if his owners don’t come forward.”

Watch Manager Thomas Wolfe from Kensington fire station rescued the kitten, he said: “It was such a tiny kitten it was quite hard to find as it had got itself right into the engine. It took me about 45 minutes to locate him and get him safely out. I was relieved to see him unharmed as I handed him over to the RSPCA. Our advice is always to call the RSPCA if you see an animal stuck somewhere, and then if they need our help, they’ll call on us, as they did on this occasion. In my 20 years as a firefighter this is only the second cat I’ve had to rescue. It goes to show that the old stereotype about firefighters always rescuing cats is nonsense!”

RSPCA animal collection officer Jill Sanders said: "Poor Wolfie has been through quite an ordeal – he is only a tiny ball of fluff but he has caused quite a commotion today. He is now recovering from his adventure at Putney Animal Hospital and he looks set to make a full recovery, which is fantastic news.”

If anyone recognises the kitten they can call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.  

Notes to editors

About British Gas:

British Gas is Britain’s leading energy and home services provider, serving around 11 million homes – nearly half the country's homes – as well as providing energy to around 400,000 British businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality home services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk

About the RSPCA:

The RSPCA is the country’s oldest and largest animal welfare charity and relies on donations to exist. To donate £3 now text HELP to 78866 (texts cost £3 plus standard network rate).

For more information contact:

Bieneosa Ebite
British Gas
08001077015
bieneosa.ebite@britishgas.co.uk

British Gas is Britain’s leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country’s homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million British businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Homes Services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk.


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