— -- Firefighters outside Charlotte, North Carolina, were nearly done battling a house fire burning for more than four hours when one of them said they discovered a cat who miraculously survived the massive inferno stuck in a wall.
"One of our guys was walking around the house, which was almost completely collapsed, when he heard a meow," Mint Hill Fire Chief David Leath told ABC News today. "He pried one of the outside walls and found the cat stuck inside."
The firefighter got the feline Marissa out and gave it oxygen through a mask and tank from one of the ambulances on the scene.
"The cat was then taken to a local vet," Leath said. "I paid a visit today, and it was meowing still and everything. The vet said she's on a 24-hour watch and she was doing well. The cat is expected to recover from smoke inhalation, a couple burn marks and an injured eye."
Marissa the cat belonged to a 16-year-old daughter of the family who lived in the house, according to Leath. He said the family fled the fire and never returned and that he was unsure of the family's current location.
The house fire occurred in Mint Hill around 3:30 a.m. today.
"The family's eldest son noticed the fire and called emergency services," Leath said. He added the the fire was caused by a vehicle fire in the driveway that got up into the attic. He said there was still an ongoing investigation as to what caused the vehicle fire.
"For a cat to be inside that structure fire for four hours, I'd say that's pretty miraculous," Leath told ABC News.