Our RB kitty Tom Tinker saved our family like that. Something had clogged the furnace chimney and smoke was filling the house. Tom pawed at Mom until she opened her eyes and saw the layer of smoke was just above her nose. Mom woke sis and Dad carried me out. (Yeah, it was loooong ago. )
Yet one more example to disprove the general public misconception that cats don't warn their people when they're in danger. It's probably not a typical scenario, but I've read of too many examples, and now one more, to be able to say, "I'm sorry, but that's not the case."
Hooray for Peaches
Joey did the same for us, one night several years ago. DH was so inebriated he passed out in the living room, but not before he overloaded our woodburner with Dura-flame logs Joey woke me up by stepping on my face and meowing - the air was acrid with smoke; a mist of smoke was coming off the woodpaneling (we were in a mobile home at the time); the stove was so hot, the chimney had opaque orange spots glowing thru
I closed the drafts almost totally, and used a plant sprayer to wet the walls with cold water. My asthma kicked in; the other cats hid under the bed until I put them in carriers in the car, because the air was so bad to breathe. If it hadn't been for Joey..............