21 June 2016
Richard Price from Dyfed and Glamorgan ACF and his brother-in-law Daryl Webb were rewarded with a bronze gallantry award from the RSPCA at a ceremony on Saturday 18 June after saving a pet cat from a burning house.
Marmalade - the lucky 17-year-old cat saved from the flames
They were driving home through Burry Port, Carmarthenshire, in February 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 from the smoke-filled front room and stamp out the fire which had spread from the blazing curtains, saving Marmalade the cat who was cowering in the corner.
Richard, 21, an adult under officer with Burry Port Detachment said: “We could see flames at the window and pulled over to help. The curtains were alight and 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.”
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: “I didn’t know Marmalade was in the house at the time, 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.”
Major Dewi Branch, the commanding officer of Dyfed and Glamorgan ACF, nominated Richard for the award for his calm and professional manner while dealing 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.
“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 go the extra mile for animals and help the RSPCA in their goal to end cruelty, protect animals from abuse and further knowledge of animal welfare.