Cats rescued from blaze at charity centre

Brian Lomax, trustee of Lancashire Cat Rescue charity with Chrystal after the fire in Penwortham
Brian Lomax, trustee of Lancashire Cat Rescue charity with Chrystal after the fire in Penwortham
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Cats had to be pulled out of a burning outbuilding after a blaze at a rescue charity.

Christine Lomax, who has run Lancashire Cat Rescue at her home in New Lane, Penwortham, since 1987, ran into the smoke-filled cattery to pull the animals to safety.

She said: “My husband was in the kitchen doing some washing up when he saw the fire.

“I was terrified, not for the buildings, but because I thought that the cats might be burned alive.

“We do have a system in place though where all the cat boxes are in one place, so we grabbed them, grabbed the cats, and got them out.

“They were very frightened, and we got a few scratches, but they’re all okay, and that’s the main thing.”

Fire crews from Penwortham and Bamber Bridge were called to the fire at 6.45pm on Thursday.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The cause of the fire was accidental.

“A neighbour had been burning off some rubbish in a back garden, and the flames have spread to a shed, and then to the wooden outbuilding.”

One of the charity’s main catteries, which is made of wood, has been charred, the wiring has been destroyed, guttering and roofing has been damaged and a window has been destroyed. Other areas have been smoke damaged.

Christine has had to move five cats of her current 10 cats into another cattery on the site, which she said is “not ideal” and leaves her with no room for additions.

She said: “We’ll soon be in kitten season, and I’ve had to put cats into places I’d normally have mum and babies in.”

She added: “We still have the affected buildings, they’ve not gone completely, but it will take a lot of money and time to get them suitable for the cats again. We’re not sure at this stage what is going to be required.”

The charity is running a fundraising flea market at Barton Village Hall tomorrow from 9am to 3pm, with a 50p admission.

Christine hopes that it will generate income enabling the charity to start making repairs.

She is also keen to hear from anyone who is able to make cash donations, give items such as cat litter or food, or is interested in rehoming a cat.

Get in touch with the charity by calling 01772 750263, emailing:, or visiting: