TWO tortoises had a lucky escape when they were rescued from a house fire in Fordingbridge.

A crew from Fordingbridge Fire Station were called to the scene on Sunday at about 12.50pm after a fire broke out in a room, which had to be extinguished by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus due to the smoke.

The tortoises Toby and Dinky are said to be recovering well.

Their owners who wish not to be named, were unhurt in the fire, and said Toby has been in the family since the 1950's and they have had Dinky for more than 25 years.

Fordingbridge Fire Station manager Pete White said: “The whole house was full of smoke and there was a reasonable fire going in the room.”

Speaking about the rescue he added: "It is a first for the crew. We have never had to deal with tortoises before.

"I popped back round to see them and the owners have taken them to the vets and say they are all fine."

It is believed the fire broke out after one of the tortoises knocked over a heating lamp.

Residents are being reminded to ensure smoke alarms are regularly checked and fitted correctly.

Mr White said: "Working smoke alarms help provide an early indication of a fire, reducing potential damage to property and most importantly will help save your life."