Two men who rushed into a burning house and put out a fire saving a pet cat have been rewarded with a bravery award from the RSPCA.
Richard Price and Daryl Webb were driving home through Burry Port, Carmarthenshire, when they spotted flames at the home of Kathryn Hayler.
Richard dialled 999 while Daryl raced into the house after the owner, who had been visiting a neighbour when the blaze started.
The pair managed to evacuate Mrs Hayler (pictured) from the smoke filled front room and stamp out the fire which had spread from the blazing curtains saving Marlamade the cat who was cowering in the corner.
Richard, 21, said: “We could see flames at the window and pulled over to help. I phoned the fire brigade while Daryl ran into the house after the woman who lives there.
“The curtains were alight. There was a lot of smoke. Afterwards we saw Marmalade was crouching down on the floor.
“I checked the woman over while we waited for the emergency services to arrive. Fortunately both she and Marmalade were OK, it could have been much worse.”
He added: “We just acted on instinct, we wanted to help, but looking back it was very scary.
Daryl, 32, a charity volunteer, added: “No one knew Marmalade was even there until he meowed. He was hiding in the lounge and then went running into the kitchen. His owner was very happy to see him.”
He added: “It’s very unexpected to get an award from the RSPCA, I just did what anyone would have done.”
Mrs Hayler, said she will never forget their bravery tackling the blaze and saving Marmalade a 17-year-old rescue cat from the fire in February.
She added: “I didn’t know Marmalade was in the house at the time, he was have been very scared and hid himself away in the corner.
“If they hadn’t managed to put the fire out I dread to think what would have happened to him. I’m so grateful to them for saving Marmalade.”
The pair were nominated by the Army Cadet Force Association where Richard is an Adult Under Officer, and were awarded the RSPCA’s bronze gallantry award.
Major Dewi Branch, the commanding officer of Dyfed and Glamorgan ACF, said Richard was nominated for this calm and professional manner while deal with an emergency.
He added: “He displayed courage and leadership beyond his years and it is firmly believed that his steadfast approached saved lives that day.”
RSPCA Chief Executive Jeremy Cooper said: “Daryl and Richard showed incredible bravery tackling a fire which was spreading quickly and filling the house with smoke.
“I know Marmalade’s owners will always be grateful to them for not only saving her home but also her much-loved cat.
“They are very deserving of their award for their heroic actions and I’m very proud to present it to them.”
For more than 100 years, the RSPCA Honours have been given to recognise those people and organisations who’ve helped us in our goal to end cruelty, protect animals from abuse and further our knowledge of animal welfare.
This year 19 people who had gone the extra mile for animals were awarded with RSPCA Honours including:
A police officer who worked tirelessly to save 33 dogs from squalid conditions
An American woman who has improved the lives of hundreds of millions of farm animals with an assurance scheme
An undercover RSPCA inspector who helped crack an illegal puppy selling ring making £35,000-a-week
The RSPCA Honours ceremony was held on Saturday 18 June at The Law Society in London which was especially appropriate as 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the Animal Welfare Act. Since it’s introduction the RSPCA has helped more than 150,000 cats and dogs.
If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).