‘Very lucky’ tortoise saved from Christmas Day fire he started in his owners’ home

‘This 45-year-old tortoise might look angry but it’s his lucky day,’ fire service says

Zoe Tidman
Thursday 26 December 2019 18:28 GMT
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A tortoise was rescued from a house fire after he set his bedding on fire in Essex
A tortoise was rescued from a house fire after he set his bedding on fire in Essex (Essex County Fire and Rescue Service)

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A tortoise was rescued after starting a fire by knocking over a heat lamp on Christmas Day.

The 45-year-old pet was rescued from the blaze at a house in Essex.

He had set his bedding on fire after toppling the lamp, according to fire officials.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said neighbours alerted them after hearing the smoke alarm going off.

The house was smoke logged but the fire was contained to only one room when crews arrived, and the blaze was quickly put out.

Gary Wain, watch manager at Great Dunmow Fire Station, said: “The fire started after the tortoise knocked a heat lamp on to its bedding, which then caught alight.”

He said: “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 thanks to working smoke alarms.”

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said on Facebook: “This 45-year-old tortoise might look angry but it’s his lucky day.

“Our on-call crews left their families to go extinguish the fire and gave him a very merry Christmas.”

Mr Wain said the incident highlighted the importance of having smoke alarms on every floor.

A tortoise recently caught the attention of emergency services in Germany while trying to cross a busy road.

The creature, believed to have been around 70, forced motorists to slam on their brakes to avoid running it over, causing chaos on the road.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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