Tortoises die in Southsea house fire

Yachting firm boss cleared over deaths

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TWO pet tortoises were killed in a house fire believed to have been caused by malfunctioning heat lamps.

The fire started in the ground floor of a terraced property in Liss Road, Southsea, at 12.48pm yesterday afternoon.

It caused extensive damage to the inside of the building and firefighters fought their way through thick smoke to search for family members.

No one was found to be inside the house or was injured in the blaze.

Fire investigators are still assessing how the fire started, but it is understood it was probably caused by the heat lamps used to warm the tortoises’ tank.

A total of 12 firefighters battled the blaze for around 45 minutes before it was put out.

They managed to rescue a pet hampster from an upstairs bedroom which is believed to be unharmed.