A fire caused by a defective tortoise heat lamp that spread on to two semi-detached houses has left two families homeless.
A wooden tortoise enclosure in a garden caught light in the early hours of yesterday morning and by the time fire crews arrived it had spread to half of two houses. Fire crews were able to put out the fire just after 5am.
One neighbour told media: “I thought someone was breaking in because I could hear a loud cracking noise” before calling the fire brigade, who were already on route to the scene.
The neighbor added: “It was horrendous. I can’t believe how quickly it spread. You can’t help but feel for the families involved and wonder what they are going to do now because they have lost everything.
“Both the family and and the woman in the second house had got out the moment the fire broke out. The woman lives on her own and the people next door are quite new to the area. I think they are a couple with two children.
“The roof was completely burned off their house after the firefighters absolutely ploughed it with so much water but the damage was done. The woman is absolutely distraught. She lives on her own and I think the house has been completely destroyed and it wasn’t her house that the fire even started in.”