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Firefighters Search For Cat Left Behind in Fatal 93rd Street Blaze

By Shaye Weaver | November 1, 2016 2:56pm
 Andrea Remec and the FDNY are searching for Jilly the cat, after a fire destroyed Remec's apartment building last week.
Firefighters help fire victim search for her cat
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YORKVILLE — A victim of a large fire that broke out last week on East 93rd Street leaving one dead and 16 injured is searching for her cat that she had to leave behind.

Andrea Remec, 25, is asking the community to be on the lookout for Jilly, a gray-striped cat with green eyes, who has not been seen since Remec left her fourth floor apartment the day of the fire on Thursday, Oct. 27.

The blaze erupted on the first floor of 324 E. 93rd. at about 3:30 a.m. and spread up the building and to two adjacent buildings, authorities said.

Remec heard the fire alarm go off and jumped out of bed, screaming at her roommate to get up. The two grabbed some of their belongings and when Remec went after Jilly, she couldn't find her.

"I think Jilly ran under my bed," she said. "I got the carrying case and treats to lure her out, but we looked up and there were black clouds of smoke billowing into the bedroom. We had to get out."

The roommates climbed down the fire escape, and Remec hoped Jilly would find her way out the window as well.

"I've never seen so much fire before," Remec said. "We stood there in shock...I immediately thought, 'My cat is still up there,' and had an emotional moment."

She told numerous firefighters on the scene to be on the lookout for a cat on the fourth floor, but none of them had any luck. Eventually, Remec was told that the staircase wasn't safe so the fire department wasn't letting anyone back into the building.

About 250 firefighters brought the flames under control more than four hours later at 7:53 a.m., according to the FDNY. Five civilians and 11 firefighters suffered minor injuries.

Over the course of the week, at least two cats who lived in her building have been brought to the ASPCA by their owners for treatment, but there's been no sign of Jilly, she said.

The ASPCA has been helping with efforts to find pets lost in the fire. They set up cat traps and sends its disaster response team to the location twice-daily to checks on the traps, but no animals have yet been found, according to the organization.

"I suspect the worst," Remec said. "Some people are way more optimistic than me, saying cats tend to do better in these situations than dogs. I have a little bit of hope...after they put out the fire, my room was still pretty much intact. Our windows were the only windows that hadn't been busted out by the fire."

Firefighters of Engine 22/Ladder 13/Battalion 10 on East 85th Street posted Jilly's picture on an Instagram account for Carlow, the famous firehouse cat.

Anyone with information about where Jilly or any other animals displaced from the fire that morning, is asked to email carlowfdnycat@gmail.com.

Jilly, a 10-pound domestic shorthair, is typically skittish when around new people but cuddly when around friends, Remec said.