Tortoise knocks over heat lamp, causes NW Side house fire

Firefighters estimate damage at $150,000

SAN ANTONIO – A 150-pound pet tortoise is being blamed for a fire that caused heavy damage to the home of a neighbor on the city's far Northwest Side.

The fire broke out shortly after midnight Tuesday in the 9700 block of Village Gate. 

Firefighters said it appears the tortoise knocked over a heat lamp inside its outdoor cage and started a fire that spread to the home next door. 

The fire then spread moving into the walls and attic by the time firefighters were able to extinguish it. They said the fire also caused minimal damage to the pet owner's home.

The damage was estimated at $150,000.

They said no one was hurt, including the tortoise.

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