Pet rats killed in house fire started by lit cigarette

Rats were killed in the fire in Wakefield Close, Colchester

Rats were killed in the fire in Wakefield Close, Colchester - Credit: Getty/iStockphoto/Archant

Two pet rats were killed in a blaze at a semi-detached house that started after a lit cigarette fell off an ash tray.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service were called to a home in Wakefield Close in Colchester shortly before 9pm on Tuesday.

Two crews attended and extinguished a fire in a first floor bedroom by 9.25pm. 

They rescued cage containing two rats — but two other rats sadly died.

The fire service was called to the blaze after a neighbour heard a smoke alarm and rang 999. 

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Watch manager Luke Beardmore said: "Crews did a brilliant job — they worked really quickly to put out the fire and limit the damage.

"The incident shows the importance of having working smoke alarms in your home. The occupants had gone shopping and the damage would have been much worse if the neighbour hadn't heard the alarm.  

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"We’d also urge smokers to ensure their cigarettes are properly stubbed out. This fire started when a cigarette fell off an ash tray and down the back of set of drawers. Please check your cigarette is completely out."

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