London, Feb 25 : A Brit couple out on a shopping trip were left shocked when they returned home to find out that their pet tortoise had burned down their house.
Emma Fox, 30, and partner Paul Butler, 45, of Bracknell, Berks, had brought Fred inside when the pet came out of hibernation early.
The couple, who also has a dog and two baby tortoises, left Fred in a tank under a heat lamp to keep her warm enough to stay alive.
However, Fred piled up her bedding of dry straw too close to the heat lamp installed to keep her warm, spreading flames through the house.
"We were out shopping when we got a call from the fire brigade saying that our tortoise had set the house on fire," the Sun quoted Emma, as saying.
"Luckily our neighbour had heard the smoke alarm go off and called the fire brigade.
"There's a lot of smoke damage. We need to replace all our furniture and front door, but all our animals survived. It could have been worse," she added.
Emma on Fred: "She means the world to me - even if she did almost burn the house down."