US fire officials say a lumbering pet turtle sparked a fast-moving fire in a New York City apartment after crawling out of its tank and knocking over the terrarium’s heat lamp.
Giovani, a six-year-old African tortoise about the size of a soccer ball, survived.
But officials say one firefighter and three police officers suffered smoke inhalation during the fire in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
Another turtle that lived in a water tank was killed.
The owner, Mohamed Salem, 18, and his family were not home at the time.
Fire officials say the heat lamp crashed to the floor, igniting a pile of art supplies, including thinner and paint.