Melvin the cat saves his family from house fire

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Melvin the cat saves his family from house fire

By Simone Del Rosario. CREATED Apr 4, 2014 - UPDATED: Apr 5, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - He's the unexpected hero who saved two people from catastrophe.

"If it wasn't for Melvin waking up Mike, we would be dead," said Lynnda Clark.

Melvin is the couple's cat. The couple was fast asleep early Friday morning while their mobile home went up in flames. The home did not have a working smoke alarm. 

But Melvin sensed trouble and sounded his own alarm right in his owner's ear.

"He was right in my ear, yowling, and it's like, 'Melvin, go away cat.' Then you smell it and then you get up and you find you're covered in smoke," said Mike McKinney, Melvin's owner.

"All I heard was, 'Lynnda get up the place is on fire!' And I shot right out of bed and melvin was right there and I grabbed Melvin," Clark said. "I didn't realize that he was the one who woke up Mike."

The three escaped through the back door. Everything but the bedroom was covered in flames. The home is a total loss.

But because of Melvin, everyone made it out alive.

Clark said Melvin's instinct comes as no surprise. "I think mothers have it; parents have it; and I know that animals have it. Melvin knew something was wrong and he did what he needed to do."

Both Mike and Lynnda said they're certain they would have died from smoke inhalation without Melvin, their only alarm in this case.

Tucson Fire wants to remind everyone to make sure you have a working smoke alarm in your home. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.