Tortoise sparks house blaze

A young tortoise was saved in the nick of time yesterday when a smoke alarm alerted a neighbour to fire in an adjoining property.

Two fire engines sped to an address in Droxford and used breathing apparatus and a hose reel to extinguish a fire in the dining room of the property.

Firefighter Kevin Sherfield from Droxford Fire Station said:

‘We forced entry into the unoccupied building and came across a small fire involving a pet aquarium in the corner of the dining room.

We rescued a tortoise from the cage and it was taken to safety whilst firefighters tackled the fire. It appears that a heat bulb hanging into the cage had got too hot and caused the wood chips to smolder and catch alight.

The householders were not home at the time of the fire but the sounding smoke detectors did their job and alerted people nearby to a developing situation. Had they not heard the detector, the fire could have been significantly worse.’

Happily damage was at a minimum and Turnstone, the18 month old pet tortoise emerged fit and well and was safely reunited with it’s owner.

Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service strongly recommends that you fit at least one smoke alarm to each level of your home. For further information and advice visit www.hantsfire.gov.uk/yoursafety.

See also: ‘Tortoise sparks flat blaze’