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.
L-R Firefighter Michael
Blease, Watch Manager Mike Dillon and Firefighter Tony Harrison
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
"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
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
For a free Home Safety Check, which could include the fitting of
smoke alarms, call 0800 555 815 or visit