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Kitten Among The Survivors Of Fireworks Explosion

June 28, 1985

HALLETT, Okla. (AP) _ A 6-week-old kitten, its blue-gray fur smoking and its whiskers crinkled, emerged from the rubble of a fireworks factory where 21 people died and five people were injured.

″I call her my sixth survivor,″ said Ron Van Voorhis, director of Tulsa’s Community-Wide Ambulance Service. Van Voorhis and his wife, Linda, have adopted the kitten and named it Smokey.

When spotted by a Tulsa television crew in the debris Tuesday, the animal was having trouble breathing.

″We gave her a little CPR - not quite mouth-to-mouth,″ Van Voorhis said. ″We held its mouth open and breathed into it.

″Smoke was still coming from its fur. My man had to wrap it up in a towel″ to stop the smoldering.

Smokey suffered second-degree burns to her face and front legs. There were also burns on the animal’s paws, apparently from the overheated ground.

Van Voorhis said he didn’t know why the kitten was in the area.

″The kitten - kind of - redeemed the badness of the day.″

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