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Shell-shocked firefighters bring tortoise back from the brink

SHELL-SHOCKED firefighters used a makeshift oxygen tent to bring a tortoise back from the brink of death.

Crews from Withington and Stockport Fire Stations were stunned when Enzo the tortoise showed signs of life after being rescued from a burning house.

Tortoise rescue_web

L-R Firefighter Michael Blease, Watch Manager Mike Dillon and Firefighter Tony Harrison with Enzo

The firefighters were called to the semi-detached house in Rayham Avenue, Didsbury, in Manchester, shortly after 1pm on Thursday, May 1, after reports of a blaze.

When they arrived at the house it appeared that a fire in the living room on the ground floor had been burning for some time.

Watch Manager Matt Dillon, from Withington Fire Station, said: "It was a fire involving the tortoise tank and we think it had been burning for some time before we arrived at the house.

"We were digging out the tank and we came across this charred lump, which was the tortoise.

"We all thought it was dead but Firefighter Andrew Cook cleaned the shell and made an improvised oxygen tent in the back of the fire engine.

"We pumped oxygen into the tent and eventually the tortoise was resuscitated and started to move, which surprised us all.

"By the time we left it was marching around the garden as if nothing had happened."

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a hose reel to tackle the fire and a fan to clear the smoke.

They had to strip out the living room and use a thermal imaging camera to check for any further signs of fire before leaving the scene.

The fire, which caused serious damage to the house, was caused accidentally due to overheating of the tortoise tank.

Any electrical item in your home could pose a potential danger so make sure you look out for any signs of risk - and if you think something needs fixing or changing, do it straight away.

Find more advice on how to keep electrical items in good working order on the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service website here: /fire_safety_advice/home_fire_safety/electrical_equipment.aspx

For a free Home Safety Check, which could include the fitting of smoke alarms, call 0800 555 815 or visit /fire_safety_advice/home_fire_risk_assessments.aspx

Last update: 23/03/2016 08:19:28
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