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Firefighters free kitten from drainage pipe

by: COURTESY PORTLAND FIRE AND RESCUE - A kitten nicknamed 'Champ,' was rescued Sunday evening from a 4-inch drainage pipe next to a house near Northeast 118th Avenue and Sandy Boulevard. The kitten was unhurt, but cold and hungry.Sometimes curiosity doesn’t kill the cat, it just gets it stuck in a drainage pipe.

That’s what happened Sunday evening, when Portland Fire and Rescue firefighters and a local plumbing company had to rescue a kitten that crawled about 20 feet into a 4-inch pipe outside a home’s basement near Northeast 118th Avenue and Sandy Boulevard.

It took firefighters nearly six hours to free the kitten, which they named “Champ.” The kitten was unhurt. It was taken to a local fire station and cared for during the night.

Firefighter Scott Pearson was the first to retrieve the kitten. “It was scared and hungry,” Pearson said. “But I’m sure that it was glad to be out of that dark, damp hole.”

The rescue began at about 7:35 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, when homeowners heard the loud cries of a kitten in the walls of their basement. Portland Fire and Rescue crews from Station 2 in Parkrose and Squad 1 from downtown arrived and discovered that the kitten was most likely trapped in any one of several drainage pipes running about 4 feet down along the house.

Firefighters used search cameras to locate the kitten, but were unable to find it in the pipes. Firefighters called a local plumbing company for help, and used the company’s snake camera to find the unlucky kitten. It was stuck about 20 feet down in a 4-inch pipe.

Because the kitten wouldn’t crawl out on its own, firefighters pumped air into the opposite end of the pipe, which forced the animals to crawl back toward the opening.

The slow, methodical process eventually freed the kitten.