FIREFIGHTERS rescued a tortoise when its bedding caught fire.
Twelve firefighters plucked 18-month-old Turnstone to safety after wood chips in its aquarium caught fire.
The crews from Bishop’s Waltham and Droxford fire stations rescued the reptile from a house in South Hill, Droxford, near Fareham, after neighbours heard a smoke detector go off and dialled 999.
Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus and a team using a hose put out the fire, which started in the dining room of the house at 4.30pm on Monday.
It is believed it started from a heating bulb in the tortoise’s cage which ignited the wood chippings and spread to the dining room.
Turnstone is fit and well after her ordeal.
Droxford firefighter Kevin Sherfield said: ‘The neighbours did the right thing by calling the emergency services and waiting for crews outside the affected property.
‘They also helped us immensely by guiding us around the back of the house to where the smoke detector was sounding.’
He added: ‘When we forced entry into the unoccupied building we 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 while we tackled the fire. It appears a heat bulb hanging into the cage got too hot causing the wood chips to smoulder and catch alight.’