Last week Ken Michael's home was destroyed by a fire and the family was without hope anything would be saved. However, four days afterwards Michael found reason to be optimistic.
Thursday night, after the blaze, the family's insurance company sent two off-duty firemen in to the rubble to see if anything could be salvaged. As they were searching for the remains of the family cat, "They found it (alive) up inside the box springs."
"We took him off to the vet and found out he was perfect," Michaels said happily.
Monday, Michael said he is "really excited" the cat was found living because, "he was my buddy. If I was at the front of the room, he was at the front of the room." His two sons were also glad the cat lived.
The fire began Thursday around 5 p.m. in the family's garage. It then spread to their house becoming so out-of-control, a backdraft resulted causing the roof to drop, doors and windows to explode and the injury of three firefighters.
The fire was ruled accidental said Lori Lambert, a representative for the Office of Homeland Security.
On Monday, she said the State Fire Marshall's Office identified the circuit that failed, but due to the explosion the wire could not be located. The house was valued $150,000 - $160,000.
Tina Michael expressed her sadness Thursday over the 25 years of accumulation she was sure had been lost, but fortunately for the Michaels and their two children, much has been saved.
"They've been able to salvage lots of our clothes (and) all of our pictures," Michael said.
While the family lost their video collection and electronics, they have located other items.
"Our keepsakes -- we've been able to find (all) except one -- a quilt."
Most of their treasures including guns, antiques and other collectibles have been located and salvaged, he said.
"We're just amazed the things that are coming together," Ken said, adding the family has rented a house and will be moving in soon.
"Everybody's been terrific. We've got a great community."
Persons interested in donating funds or personal items to the Michael family may call Pat Rader at 812-986-2871.