Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Tortoise rescued from house fire

Duton Hill, Great Dunmow
25/12/2019 @ 16:25
Incident Number: 115253
In attendance: 1 x Great Dunmow, 1 x Thaxted

A tortoise has been rescued from a house fire after neighbours heard the smoke alarm and called 999. 

When crews arrived at the property they reported the house was smoke logged and there was a fire in one of the rooms. 

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and cleared the property of smoke by 4.50pm.

Watch Manager Gary Wain, Great Dunmow Fire Station, said:

"The fire started after the tortoise knocked a heat lamp onto its bedding, which then caught alight. 

"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. 

"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."

Do you have working smoke alarms in your home?

Smoke alarms are proven life savers. They give warning at the first sign of fire, waking you and your family up and giving everyone the time they need to get safely out and call the Fire Service.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service wants to ensure that every single home in Essex has the excellent protection smoke alarms offer and will visit any home in Essex and fit smoke alarms completely FREE of charge.

If you or someone you know doesn't have working smoke alarms, book a free home safety visit today at

Could you be an on-call firefighter in your community?

Some firefighters attending this incident were on-call firefighters. On-call firefighters have everyday lives and jobs, until their pager sounds; then they immediately make their way to the fire station. 

If you live or work within five minutes of an on-call fire station, you could be an on-call firefighter. Find out more at:

Incident Images

  • 115253-tortoise
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