GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - A 74-year-old Grand Prairie man lost the home he once shared with his wife and son to a fire on Valentine's Day. But he could've lost his life if it weren't for his pet cat that alerted him.
Reed McIntosh says he was asleep when his home caught fire Tuesday morning. It was one of his five cats named Angel who woke him up and gave him the chance to get out of his home safely. Sadly, Angel and the rest of his pets didn't make it.
McIntosh made a lot of memories in his home. It was where he and his wife, Elaine, raised their son. It's also where the 74-year-old mourned her passing from cancer in 2007. For the past decade, McIntosh says his sole source of comfort has been his five cats.
Early Tuesday morning, McIntosh was asleep in his bedroom when Angel, his 7-month-old cat, started pawing his face.
"He did it again," he recalled. "And I sort of sat up, like 'what?!'"
That's when McIntosh heard some beeping that at first he thought was coming from his computer. But it was a smoke alarm going off near the garage. McIntosh says he got out and called 911.
Grand Prairie firefighters showed up and began fighting the flames and searching for the cats that were still inside.
"One of the gentlemen came out and said 'We found them. They were all in your bedroom,'" he recalled. "I was like, 'great!' He said, 'No, they're all gone. Sorry.'"
McIntosh says a woman with animal control brought the cats out who had died from smoke inhalation in a clothes basket so he could say goodbye.
"Which I thought was very thoughtful and brought them up on the porch, and I held them," he said. "I loved them."
McIntosh says he removed their collars for safe keeping. Removing Angel's collar was the toughest.
"If it hadn't been for Angel, I would've been dead," he said. "I think that was destined to be his name. I think he was destined to be here to save me on a Valentine's Day. I'll never forget."
The cause of the fire remains under investigation but does not appear to be suspicious.
McIntosh did have insurance but says no amount of money can ever replace his beloved cats.
He also ran an online business selling stuff on eBay. He says all of those items were lost in the fire, too. He set up a GoFundMe account to get help getting back on his feet.