Blueberry the cat, whose owner died in a tragic fire, found by Esquimalt volunteers

A cat that escaped a deadly apartment fire in Esquimalt earlier this month has been found in rough shape but alive.

Judith Burke was killed April 7 when a fire ripped through the fourth floor of an apartment building in the Victoria suburb. Her cat, Blueberry, was seen leaping out the fourth-floor balcony and then went missing.

Sharon McFadyen, with the non-profit volunteer group Finding Lost and Escaped Cats, was notified. She said over a dozen volunteers, including Burke's neighbours, jumped into action.

"It tells me that there's a lot of people who have a lot of empathy out there," McFadyen told All Points West host Robyn Burns.

"I think that people really felt the loss of Judy and the way that she went and they just wanted the best for the cat."

Sharon McFadyen

The volunteers managed to catch a glimpse of Blueberry hiding under a bush one night and then the team set up a feeding station with cameras on it.

The cat was skittish, but a mother-and-daughter team of volunteers were able to coax her out of hiding using some items of Burke's clothing that still had her scent on them.

"They were able to start petting her and when they felt that she wasn't going to to run they pulled her out from under the bush," McFayden said. "She didn't fight. She didn't struggle. She was ready to be found."

Blueberry was rushed to the care of a vet.

Sharon McFadyen

Luckily, while she was covered in soot with burned paws and singed whiskers and tail, Blueberry had no broken bones and all of her injuries look treatable.

McFadyen said the future looks brighter for Blueberry: Burke's will made arrangements for her care and the executor of her estate will be looking after her.

"Blueberry is going to be going to a very good home where she is going to continue to be loved and cared for," she said.

Sharon McFadyen

Friends and neighbours described Burke as a friendly person who trained as a scientist and loved to draw cartoons.

McFayden said Burke's friends say that despite the tragedy of her death, they are glad her beloved cat will get another chance.

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