Fire service steps in to free Socks the kitten from engine compartment of van in Northampton

Socks the kitten needed the help of the fire service to be freed from the engine compartment of his owner's van.
Socks the kitten needed the help of the fire service to be freed from the engine compartment of his owner's van.

A Northampton comedian has shared how he needed the help of "six burly firemen" to free his cat from the engine compartment of his van.

It was a morning every pet owner fears for Northampton entertainer Bobby Dazzler on Wednesday (January 15) when he and his wife couldn't find their 10-month old kitten, Socks, anywhere in the house.

During the night, Socks managed to crawl inside the engine compartment of his owner Bobby's van - but couldn't get back out again.

During the night, Socks managed to crawl inside the engine compartment of his owner Bobby's van - but couldn't get back out again.

The hand-reared young cat was normally safe at home every morning ready for feeding - but alarm bells rang when they woke up to find Socks was nowhere to be found at their home in Ashley Way.

That was until they heard distressed meowing from near their Citreon Berlingo. But Socks wasn't underneath the van - he was inside it.

Bobby told the Chronicle & Echo: "We knew he had slipped out through a crack in the window on the second floor and must have slipped off the window ledge, which was a scary enough thought.

"Maybe his cat instinct was to take cover and be safe. In his wisdom he decided to crawl up inside my van and however he got in there he couldn't get out.

The fire service sent a crew with small rescue gear and blocks to stabilise the van and free Socks from the engine.

The fire service sent a crew with small rescue gear and blocks to stabilise the van and free Socks from the engine.

"We only found him after I popped the bonnet and found this pair of eyes staring back at us."

Bobby and Yvette considered jacking the van up and extracting Socks by themselves - until they considered if the van fell down on top of them they would have two problems to deal with.

Bobby said: "It was then we decided to call emergency services and see if they would know what to do if we explained it.

"They were fantastic. They said straight away 'nope, don't go under that vehicle, we'll send an animal rescue team.

"Within 10 minutes this ginormous fire engine pulled up and out came these six burly firemen to help get this tiny kitten out of my van."

With the help of small rescue gear and blocks to stabilise the van, the crew was able to free Socks within minutes and get him safely back inside.

Bobby said: "It scares me. I could have driven off that morning with him still inside the engine compartment. It doesn't bear thinking about.

"The fire service were brilliant. We even brought the team at the Moulton station a big pile of cupcakes later that day to say thank you for what they did."