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Tortoise causes house fire by knocking over heat lamp in Texas

By Daniel Uria
A 150-pound tortoise, like this one, caused a large fire in a Texas neighborhood after knocking over its heat lamp. The fire spread to a neighboring home causing about $150,000 in property damage. Photo by Skeeze/Pixabay
A 150-pound tortoise, like this one, caused a large fire in a Texas neighborhood after knocking over its heat lamp. The fire spread to a neighboring home causing about $150,000 in property damage. Photo by Skeeze/Pixabay

SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- A pet tortoise knocked over its heat lamp, causing a fire that spread through a pair of Texas homes.

The blaze began after midnight Tuesday when the 150-pound tortoise apparently knocked over the heat lamp in its outdoor cage, KSAT reported.

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San Antonio Fire Department spokesman Woody Woodward told My San Antonio the lamp fell onto a mattress, sparking the fire, which spread to the neighboring home.

Arson investigators were unsure how the fire reached the neighbor's home, where it caused the most damage.

No one, including the tortoise, was injured in the late-night fire, but the flames caused about $150,000 of damage to the neighboring home. It was not considered a total loss, but the family was displaced, at least temporarily.

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