Second office cat found alive in ruins of downtown fire

Some tenants of the burned out Irwin Block building in downtown Columbus are finding relief. That comes after their office cat, Prila, was found alive and unharmed at the site Tuesday.

Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the Columbus Fire Department, says that Prila came out of the ruins to her owner, Debbie Spurgeon, at about 3:40 yesterday afternoon. Prila, the office cat for Arnholt & Staggs Law offices, had no obvious injuries after the weekend fire which destroyed the commercial building on Fifth Street.

Firefighters searched the building during the blaze, but did not find the cat. They left the law office door open in the hopes that the 14-year-old calico cat would escape if she could.

Tuesday, Spurgeon asked Columbus firefighters if she could leave food and treats at the entrance to the law office, to lure the cat out if she was still alive. As firefighters placed the food down, Spurgeon shook a container of the cat’s favorite treats and firefighters soon heard a “meow” from inside.

Prila appeared uninjured but firefighters suggested a veterinarian visit to check for smoke inhalation or other injuries.

Prila was the second cat rescued from the two buildings involved in the fire. Firefighters rescued Shimmer from the offices of JAKKS Inc. Saturday evening. She was also uninjured.

Photo courtesy of  Tim Staggs.