Firefighters occasionally get called to rescue cats stuck in trees — but on Friday in Edmonton, they were instead called out to rescue not one, but two cats stuck in a deep sinkhole.
Shortly after 9 a.m., Edmonton firefighters responded to an animal rescue call at a home on 87 Avenue, near 69 Street, in the Kenilworth area.
The owners were away on vacation for a few weeks, and returned home late Thursday night.
The situation was discovered Friday morning while the couple was doing spring yard cleaning. Rebecca Hung said she was walking around the house looking for wasps nests when she almost fell in the deep sinkhole along the side of their house.
“I think I said a swear word rather loudly. I was a little bit in disbelief. Then I yelled for my husband,” Hung said.
She looked in and saw a very large cat, which appeared to be either pregnant or very sick.
“He was going to go down in the hole and try to rescue the cat but I discouraged that.”
Watch below: Emergency crews were called to an Edmonton home on Friday, after a woman doing some spring cleaning came across a large sinkhole. What was inside the hole led to a rescue operation. Sarah Kraus reports.
The couple first called 311 and was told to call police. They then called police, who called in Edmonton Fire Rescue.
Firefighters and Hung told Global News the hole appears to be about 10 feet deep, and four-by-two-feet wide.
Neighbours say the area used to be a mink farm and believe the hole is the result of an old well that caved in. Hung said the hole extends under their basement foundation.
Firefighters arrived and upon closer inspection, realized there were actually two felines in the pit. Regular firefighters couldn’t get in to rescue the cats, so the technical rescue crew was called in.
Crews reinforced the sides of the hole with pieces of wood, supported by cross beams.
“The risk here is further collapse. We wouldn’t put somebody down there unless we shore up all sides,” Capt. Aaron Krulicki with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services said.
“We just cut timbers to fit and braced it with some para-tech air shoring.”
They then covered a plank with a blanket and lowered that into the hole in hopes the cats will climb it and come out on their own.
With nothing left to do but wait, crews began packing up their tools at around 11:15 a.m.
So will the cats come back? Global News is on scene to see how it all plays out.
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