Tortoise rescued from house fire started by knocking over its heat lamp

A 45-year-old tortoise had to be rescued from a house fire on Christmas Day which ignited when the pet knocked over its heat lamp.

Neighbours heard the smoke alarm sounding in the Essex property and alerted firefighters, who extinguished the blaze and cleared the property of smoke by 4.50pm.

The fire started when the tortoise knocked a heat lamp on to its bedding, which caught alight.

Gary Wain, watch manager at Great Dunmow Fire Station, said: “This incident shows just how important it is to have smoke alarms on every level of your home.

“Even if you’re not home they will alert anyone close by to the first sign of fire.

“This tortoise has had a very lucky Christmas Day – he is 45 years young and will now hopefully continue to live a long and happy life.”

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