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Firefighters save the day and Humphrey

PUBLISHED: 14:34 17 February 2010 | UPDATED: 11:28 23 August 2010

A SCHOOLGIRL can enjoy a happy half-term after firefighters braved the flames to rescue her trapped hamster. Crews from Thames-side fire station fought to save Syrian hamster Humphrey after the blaze broke out in 10-year-old Cristina Leggatt s bedroom la

A SCHOOLGIRL can enjoy a happy half-term after firefighters braved the flames to rescue her trapped hamster.

Crews from Thames-side fire station fought to save Syrian hamster Humphrey after the blaze broke out in 10-year-old Cristina Leggatt's bedroom last Wednesday.

Once rescued, fire crews gave the pet oxygen and water and it made a full recovery.

The fire started with a mirror reflecting sunrays onto a mattress in the Leith Park Road, Gravesend home, igniting it.

Jean Leggatt, Cristina's mother, said: "The firefighters did a fantastic job and got here really quickly and although my daughter's bedroom has been gutted, they managed to save her beloved hamster."

Jean and her husband James, who were in the house when the fire broke out, were alerted by their smoke alarm and on investigating saw smoke billowing down from the third floor.

They gathered the other family pets, two cats and a dog and escaped, but were unable to reach Humphrey.

Mrs Leggatt said: "My husband first heard the smoke alarm sounding and our immediate reaction after seeing the smoke was to get out of the house.

"We got the dog and our cats out, but it was too risky to go upstairs to get Humphrey."

Thames-side watch manager Lawrence Pater praised the family for fitting alarms to detect the fire which could have caused greater damage if not noticed quickly.

"Although the cause of this incident is really unusual, I think that this family were really fortunate. The smoke alarms alerted them to the fire before it had a chance to get hold of the property, giving us enough time to contain it to its source and rescue the hamster.

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