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Tortoise Blamed For Bay Ridge Apartment Fire

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(Photo/YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo/YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)


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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Fire officials think they know who is to blame for an apartment fire in Brooklyn Monday.

His name is Giovani. He’s six-years-old and the size of a basketball.

Officials said the African tortoise crawled out of his tank and knocked over the terrarium’s heat lamp igniting a pile of art supplies. The fire quickly spread through the Bay Ridge apartment.

Giovani survived but another turtle that lived in the water tank was killed.

The New York Post reports both reptiles resided in their owner’s bedroom. Mohamed Salem, 18, and his family were not home at the time.

Officials said one firefighter and three police officers suffered smoke inhalation.

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