We don't know how he got there, but a tiny kitten is lucky his meows for help were heard by a friendly fire man.

Jacob Willis works for the Three Rivers Rambler, Knoxville's steam engine train ride company.

Monday morning, he was doing some basic maintenance work on one of the locomotives when he heard a faint meowing sound.

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Willis began following the meows, and eventually traced its source to the steam chest. When he looked inside, he saw a tiny mass of gray fur, reached in, and pulled out the kitten.

The little guy was gray and tiny, maybe less than a month old, and covered with soot that helped inspire his new name --- Cinders.

Willis already has a cat of his own, so can't adopt Cinders, but he's hoping one of his co-workers will take the kitten home so he can still visit it.