JASPER, IN The
Jasper Fire Department received an emergency call from Mr. and Mrs. Gary Day of 1364 East
Thirty-fifth Street at 4:23 Sunday afternoon. Firefighters immediately responded,
and—only eleven minutes after the phone call—three rescue vehicles and twelve
firefighters arrived on the scene.
When they arrived at the Day home, the
firefighters were met with a troubling dilemma. First, the fire. It seemed as though a
small electrical fire had broken out in the back of the garage, which Mr. Day used as his
workshop. The fire was quickly spreading toward the house.
But then one
of the firefighters looked up into the large maple tree in the front yard. In one of the
higher branches, the Days’ small, gray tabby kitten, Muffy, was trapped. The persistent
mewing and whimpering of the poor, defenseless feline was heartbreaking. And the
firefighters were then faced with a significant decision: should they put out the fire or
save the kitten?
Acting on his best judgment, Fire Chief Randall Van
Houten decided to choose the well-being of a living creature over preservation of
material possessions. Thus he and his crew proceeded to rescue Muffy. And since only
ten firefighters were needed to free Muffy from her terrifying perch, the remaining two
firefighters were placed in charge of attempting to extinguish the fire in Mr. Day’s
Following a lengthy ordeal, Chief Van Houten himself was Muffy’s
rescuer. She was brought to safety and provided with some nice kitty
Meanwhile, the two remaining firefighters failed to snuff out the
fire in the Days’ garage. The fire spread to the home, eventually causing the entire
home to burn to the ground. The firefighters did, however, successfully prevent the fire
from spreading to neighboring homes.
Though they grieved the loss of their
home, the Days spent that night at Mr. Day’s parents’ home, overjoyed that little Muffy’s
life had been spared—and that, after suffering this great tribulation, the Days were
still one big, happy family.