‘Angry’ tortoise, 45, rescued after starting Christmas Day house fire in England


Despite its dour demeanor, an “angry-looking” tortoise in England actually had a “very lucky Christmas Day” after firefighters rescued the reptile from a house it had set on fire, officials said.

The unnamed 45-year-old reptile was alone in its Essex home when it knocked a heat lamp onto its bedding, which caught on fire, Essex Fire and Rescue said Wednesday in a news release.

This “tortoise might look angry but it’s his lucky day,” the fire service posted on Twitter along with a photo of the reptilian fire-starter.

Neighbors heard the smoke alarm and called an emergency number around 5 p.m., officials said. Firefighters scrambled to the scene and found smoke filling the home and a fire in one of the rooms.

Firefighters extinguished the fire and cleared the house of smoke within 25 minutes, the BBC reported.

“This incident shows just how important it is to have smoke alarms on every level of your home – even if you’re not home they will alert anyone close by to the first sign of fire,” said Watch Manager Gary Wain of the Great Dunmow Fire Station.

“This tortoise has had a very lucky Christmas Day — he is 45 years young and will now hopefully continue to live a long and happy life thanks to working smoke alarms,” Wain said.

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