Roof Rescue

Firefighters rescue a lady in distress—off her roof

By Laura Link, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Firefighters are legendary for rescuing cats from trees but in Big Canoe, a cat named Blue initiated a neighbor’s rescue from her roof on Ridgeview Drive.

Nancy Debelio was checking the loft making sure everything was turned off before closing their second home when she saw out the bathroom window gutters filled with debris. Having been a roof walker once before and managing to get herself back in the house safely, she figured she could go out the window and clean the gutters with no problem.

Having had shoulder surgery with a plate and screws six months ago, this time she was challenged when the rain started, and the roof became slick. From the rooftop she began to yell to anyone in hearing distance for help. In return she was met with total silence.

Then Blue, a cat that is trained to walk on a leash because of hungry wildlife in the area, went to the door at David Wyche’s house and meowed loudly to go outside. Wyche hooked up Blue and when they began their walk, he heard the call for help from Debeliso. Wyche dialed 911 for a rescue operation. Appearing on the scene with the engine and ladders was Lt. Chip Rice and public safety sidekick Andrew Long. Rice tried going in the house to see if he could pull her through the bathroom window but when that failed they resorted to the traditional damsel in distress ladder rescue.

Debeliso swears this is the last time she is going on the roof for gutter cleaning or anything else. As a thank you for the rescue, she promises to bake a big batch of cookies for Rice – but without raisins.

Just another good deed to add to the many the firemen at Big Canoe have handled over the years of service, beginning as a volunteer force.

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