Fording Bridge: A pair of tortoises are reported to have blazed a costly house by knocking over a heating lamp.
Pals Dinky and Toby were saved from the flames by firefighters who needed breathing masks.
But it will cost thousands of pounds to repair smoke-filled rooms at the house in Fording Bridge, Hants, started by one of the pair.
Firefighter Pete White said that the whole house was full of smoke and there was a reasonable fire going in the room.
It was a first such incident for the crew as they had never dealt with tortoise before.
The owners of the tortoises had taken them to the vets and confirmed that they were all fine.
The owners, who don’t want to be named, told firefighters that Toby has been in the family since the 1950s and they have had Dinky for more than 25 years.
It’s feared the cost of repairing the smoke-blackened rooms will run into thousands of pounds.
The family now face the task of convincing the insurance firms that the blaze was started by a tortoise.
Mr White added that the residents were reminded to ensure that the smoke alarms were regularly checked and fitted correctly.
Video on pet tortoises which blazed owner’s house