OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (WTNH) —A family has been searching for their cat after an explosion destroyed their home in Old Saybrook, and “lucky” for them, the cat made it out safe and alive.
The explosion at a house in Old Saybrook left the homeowner, 88-year-old Ed Lonergan, in the hospital. The community has been rallying together to help search for Lucky, his beloved cat, who went missing during the explosion.
“I have my life support back in my hands,” Lonergan said.
The cat was found at Pieper Veterinary’s Essex hospital and was reunited with his family over the weekend.
The vet said Lucky was indeed lucky; he escaped the disaster and only had a few singed whiskers!
Lucky was checked by veterinarians to ensure he wasn’t harmed by smoke inhalation, and everything looks normal.
“This little cat is certainly living up to his name!” Pieper Veterinary said. “We’re so relieved that Lucky is healthy and back with his loving family.”
Lonergan was doing his dishes when his home exploded.
“The freezer drawers came out and pushed me against the counter,” he said. “I remember seeing what looked like a fireball in the upper left side of the kitchen.”
It had been his family home since the 1970s. Old Saybrook officials are still investigating what caused the explosion, but said they think it was a gas explosion.
Lonergan’s daughter, Tammy, said that her father only spent one night in the hospital, but wasn’t concerned about himself.
“He was devastated that he, of course, lost his house,” she said. “He kept saying, ‘I can’t believe I’ve lost my house and I’ve lost everything,’ but he was destroyed at the fact thinking that Lucky had perished.”
The explosion happened on his 65th wedding anniversary, which he spent visiting his wife, Nancy, in an assisted living facility. They were looking at their wedding and honeymoon photos, which were lost in the fire.
Lonergan and his cat have always had a close bond.
“I don’t think there’s a night that went by that Lucky didn’t curl up next to me, and it’s heartwarming,” Lonergan said.
The two are living in an apartment for now. Lonergan plans on rebuilding.
While the fire destroyed the family home, it didn’t harm their bond.
“He is the best therapy for my own survival,” Lonergan said.