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Firemen rescue dragon!

A pet lizard has been saved from a house fire after trying to give his rescuer the slip. The eight-inch-long Bearded Dragon was in the utility room at a house in SandsfieldPark, Belle Vue, Carlisle, when the blaze broke out in a dishwasher. The family of six who live in the house, in Chesterholm, escaped unharmed after they were alerted by fire alarms shortly before midnight yesterday. Firefighter Stuart Adams, watch manager at Carlisle, said one of the family’s dogs had also fled the home safely.

But the father had suffered smoke inhalation after going back to rescue a second dog, Mr Adams added. Firefighters arrived on the scene to put the blaze out but one firefighter was and were asked by the family to go back in for their pet lizard. Mr Adams explained: “One of the lads went in and found a washing up bowl to try to capture the lizard because it was in a tank. We were told that the lizard was sluggish and harmless but he was moving pretty quickly at that point.  Maybe he wasn’t expecting a fireman to try and get him out of his tank.”

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The rescuer eventually managed to get hold of the slippery lizard pet and get him out safe and unhurt.  – but not without receiving some ‘stick’ from his fellow firefighters. “It was quite funny because the lizard kept jumping out of his hands and he wasn’t sure if he was ever going to get him,” Mr Adams said. Crews checked the property over and ventilated the kitchen and utility room, which suffered smoke damage. Mr Adams advised against leaving a  dishwasher running   before  going to bed and said it was lucky the door of the utility room had been closed when the fire started or it could have had  spread further, with tragic consequences.

He also advised against leaving a dishwasher running before going to bed, adding: “I would advise against switching dishwashers on at night,” he said. “But If you do, it is important to close the door of the room it is in to prevent the spread of any potential fire. It is also vital to have working smoke alarms because it gives you an early warning if the worst was to happen.” Meanwhile, It isn’t the first time Carlisle firefighters have been involved in an unusual rescue. In March 2011 dozens of tortoises were saved from a blaze at the Atlas Works in Denton Holme. Mr Adams explained: “They were breeding tortoises there and they were all kept in different drawers. A heating lamp had fallen and started the fire – so we had a lot of tortoises to evacuate. “We do have to rescue all sorts of animals because you never know what kind of pets people will have. If there’s a fire they will always want their animals out and safe and it’s better for trained firefighters to deal with these kinds of situations.”

He added that the family, including young children, were shaken after yesterday’s blaze but grateful that everyone, including the lizard, was not hurt.

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