Forty nine year old Craig Jeeves almost died when his house burst in to flames in the middle of the night - but he was saved by an unlikely source, his pet cat.

The tabby by the name of Sally has been hailed a hero after waking up her owner when his house caught fire in Melbourne, Australia.

"She jumped on my head and sort of like was screaming at me and woke me up otherwise I wouldn't have got up."

The fire service said he was lucky to have got out alive.

"He was alerted to the cat, actually removed himself from the house, and it was only the crews found him at a later stage once they were actually on scene. He apparently came out of the bush so yes very thankful that the owner actually got out of the house in time."

At least eight fire crews fought to bring the blaze under control, but the house was completely destroyed. Jeeves adopted Sally from a cat's home several years ago, and said that by saving his life, she had returned the favour.