Tortoise starts house fire

An "angry" tortoise was rescued after starting a house fire in Essex.

The shelled reptile caused the blaze after knocking a heat lamp onto his bedding, which caught alight and subsequently filled the house with smoke, although neighbours were able to alert firefighters after hearing the alarm.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service claimed that the 45-year-old creature was "angry", despite its lucky escape.

Gary Wain, watch manager at Great Dunmow Fire Station, claimed that the incident demonstrates the importance of having a smoke alarm.

He 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.

"He (the tortoise) is 45 years young and will now hopefully continue to live a long and happy life thanks to working smoke alarms."

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