Pair of reptiles set owners' conservatory on fire

Two loved-up reptiles are being blamed for starting a fire that destroyed their owner's conservatory in Stockton-on-Tees and led to their own demise.

Henry the tortoise, who had just awoken from hibernation, had only one thing on his mind as he emerged from his den - his mate Alice.

But tragically as he chased her around their nest, it is thought he knocked over a heater which set fire to wood shavings.

The blaze destroyed the conservatory of Alf and Gayner Clayton, from Thornaby, who had to run out of the house to escape. The fire also damaged their garage and car.

The couple said they did their best to save their beloved pets after a neighbour spotted smoke coming out of the garage.

But neither pensioner could save them and two fire crews were called to put out the blaze, which happened on Saturday night.