A family have thanked fire fighters after their pet dog and tortoise needed oxygen following a fire at their home in Sunderland.
Nip the dog knocked over Timmy the tortoise’s tank and heating pad, setting the tank and straw alight at the Judith Bell’s home in Redwood Grove, Tunstall.
The alarm was raised by neighbours on Monday night after the fire started in a bedroom belonging to Judith’s 12-year-old granddaughter Eve Sloan.
“We were out and I got a phone call from my neighbour,” said Judith, 69.
“She said, ‘The fire brigade are at your door. There is smoke coming out of the house.’
“We came round thee corner and there were two fire engines and a load of neighbours standing around.”
We were out and I got a phone call from my neighbour. She said, ‘The fire brigade are at your door. There is smoke coming out of the house.’Judith Bell
The first started after Nip got into Eve’s room and knocked over Timmy’s tank, causing the heat lamp to set fire to the tortoise’s bedding.
“She had got into Eve’s bedroom and climbed on top of the tortoises’s house, which was on the chest of drawers, knocking it off, and she has got trapped ” said Judith.
“She must have slipped. She was apparently down behind the drawers.”
The eleven-year-old is a rescue dog and Judith believes she would have been terrified by the noise and smoke.
“She is a bag of nerves, so she would have been in a hell of a state,” she said.
“She is no nervous.
“I can’t even imagine what it would have been like for her when the alarms went off.”
As well as the smashed tortoise tank, the blaze caused a small amount of damage to Eve’s room.
“The rug was burnt and we’ve had to throw it out and the carpet will have to go,” said Judith.
“But there was a bag of straw next to the tank and, thankfully, that has not caught light.
“The fire brigade said it would have been a lot worse.”
Judith is full of gratitude for the help from her neighbours and praise for the fire brigade.
“They were absolutely excellent, they really were,” she said.
A Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: “We got the call at 6.43pm and were there by 6.47pm. We left just before 7pm.
“The fire was in the bedroom - it was the tortoise’s tank.
“We used the domestic water supply to put the fire out.
“The dog and tortoise were rescued by the crew and given oxygen therapy.”