House fire in Michigan that kills pet turtle was caused by turtle’s heat lamp

A house fire in Madison Heights was caused by a heat lamp used to warm a pet turtle’s aquarium, fire officials said.

A man who rents the house with a roommate, who was out of town, called 911 to report the fire around noon Tuesday.

The house is on Brettonwoods Street near 11 Mile Road.

“He left the house to go get some coffee,” said Madison Heights Fire Marshal Paul Biliti. “He came back and encountered heavy smoke when he opened the side door.”

Firefighters arrived and found smoke coming out of several windows and from under the eaves of the one-story house.

“We found the fire in a front bedroom and quickly knocked it down with an aggressive attack,” Biliti said.

The cause of the fire appeared to be a heat lamp above the turtle’s aquarium. The turtle was dead at the scene. No humans were injured.

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