Women flee Sunderland blaze

Fire damage in a house on Faraday Road, Pallion where the fire broke out killing the family tortoise.
Fire damage in a house on Faraday Road, Pallion where the fire broke out killing the family tortoise.
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TWO women fled a house blaze that killed a tortoise and left a dog fighting for its life.

The fire started when a heat lamp, designed to keep the tortoise warm, ignited.

House on Faraday Road, Pallion where a fire broke out killing the family tortoise.

House on Faraday Road, Pallion where a fire broke out killing the family tortoise.

Three fire crews were called to Faraday Grove, Pallion, at about 10.30am yesterday when a blaze ripped through the ground floor of a two-storey detached house. The two women escaped into the street.

Terry and Valerie Kirby, who live at the house, had two women staying as guests.

Mr Kirby, 56, said he and his wife were devastated by the incident, which wrecked their home just days before Christmas.

“It’s terrible,” he said. “The whole kitchen is just gutted. We don’t know what we’re going to do. We’re stopping with neighbours tonight.”

The couple’s dog, Tilly, was rescued by firefighters from an upstairs bedroom, resuscitated and given oxygen therapy. The tortoise, called Jackson, died.

Mrs Kirby, 46, said the dog had been taken for emergency vet care and was still suffering from a problem with her eye.

Firefighters said the kitchen was 50 per cent severely damaged, and the rest of the ground floor was 100 per cent damaged by heat. The first floor suffered smoke damage. Firefighters made sure the women were unhurt before using special fans to clear the smoke.