Matthew Slater burnt out house in York. See SWNS story SWLEcat; A man's hero cat died after she alerted him to a fire that ripped through his home saving his life with just MINUTES to spare. Ex-soldier Matthew Slater, 49, woke in the early hours of this morning (Tue) to a wall of smoke and heat", with his Cat Weller clawing at this face. The fire brigade swiftly launched a rescue mission and managed to guide Mr Slater out of his flame-ridden house using a breathing apparatus. But though attempts were made to rescue his valiant moggy, the police later recovered her body on the ground floor of his one-storey terrace. Mr Slater, who now works as a builder, only became aware that the fire was advancing through his York property at 2:30 am when five-year-old Weller dived onto his bed.