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Super heroes save cat from house fire

Sep. 08, 2013 @ 11:35 PM

MILTON -- Batman, Captain America and a biker run into a burning building.

It sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but that's how a cat's life was saved Saturday afternoon in the 1100 block of Church Street in Milton.

Batman and Captain America, played by John Buckland and Troy Marcum as part of their "Heroes 4 Higher" business, were entertaining children in their costumes during an event at American Legion Post 139 on Main Street when they noticed thick, dark smoke billowing from a house behind the American Legion building shortly after 12:30 p.m.

Joining the super heroes to investigate the cause of the blaze was Sam "Tank" Carr, who had just finished a benefit motorcycle ride with his club, Bikers Against Child Abuse.

With fire crews still on their way to the scene, Buckland took charge of the situation and put his experience as a firefighter to work. Buckland was a firefighter in Georgia for eight years and spent additional time working for the Department of Defense as a firefighter in Iraq from 2009 to 2011 before he moved to Huntington.

Buckland and Carr kicked in the front door to the burning house while Marcum grabbed a rock and threw it through a window to ventilate the residence. Buckland said he was able to crawl a few feet into the front room of the house and felt a ball of fur on the floor. He grabbed it before he was forced to retreat from the smoke and heat.

The cat's breathing was labored, so Buckland began to give the pet mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on the front lawn.

"When that cat woke up, it immediately started swatting and hissing at me," he said. "It had a giant bat in its face, so I couldn't blame it."

The Milton and Ona volunteer fire departments were able to extinguish the fire, but the house was deemed a total loss. The fire was believed to have been started because of electrical problems, but it is still under investigation.

No one was home during the fire, and Buckland, Marcum and Carr walked away unscathed except for a rip to the Gotham Knight's cape.

"I was able to talk to the owner after she got to her house," Buckland said. "She was glad we were able to rescue her cat, but she said there were two more in the house. I know it was a devastating feeling for her."

Carr said he's not sure if anyone will ever believe his story of helping Batman and Captain America rescue a cat from a house fire. Regardless, he said he doesn't feel like he's a hero.

"We all talked afterward, and we agreed that we were just in the right place at the right time," Carr said. "We did what anyone else would have done, costume or no costume."

Follow H-D reporter Bryan Chambers on Facebook or Twitter @BryanChambersHD.

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