A MAN who refused to leave his burning home without his cats was hospitalised with smoke inhalation on Thursday afternoon.
The man, aged in his 50s, remained inside the Payne Close property as the fire spread because he was trying to save his two pet cats.
Emergency crews rushed to the scene after receiving a number of Triple-0 calls from neighbours who could hear smoke alarms blaring from the house.
Two fire crews, one ambulance and four police cars all responded to the incident.
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One neighbour said she could hear the alarm going "for ages" from the bottom of Payne Close.
Fire crews from both Kelso and Bathurst received the call for help at 2.57pm and arrived to find smoke coming from the rear of the house.
Fire and Rescue NSW Bathurst station officer Sandy Collins said when they arrived the man was still inside the property trying to locate his two pet cats.
"The smoke alarms were operating," station officer Collins said.
"They could be heard by neighbours who had called us, and who also came to the man's assistance."
Fire crews and police got the man out of the property, but not before he had found the animals.
Once they got the man out of the house, station officer Collins said he was transported by ambulance in a stable condition to Bathurst Base Hospital for treatment.
"The cats were fine, as animals usually are," he said.
Station officer Collins commended the work of his officers, saying they did an outstanding job under trying conditions.
While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, station officer Collins said the fire began in the kitchen. The house sustained smoke damage as a result of the fire.
A spokesperson for NSW Ambulance said one unit attended the scene after being called by Fire and Rescue.
"We assessed a male patient, aged approximately 55 years, for smoke inhalation. He was transported to hospital via road ambulance in a stable condition," the spokesperson said.
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