15 Jan 2013
A Dorset fire chief has criticised a woman after she re-entered her burning flat to rescue her pet hamsters.
The fire, which has been blamed on an electrical fault in a tumble dryer, started just after 18:00 GMT on Sunday in St Mary Street, Weymouth.
Residents at the block of flats managed to escape the blaze, and fire crews broke into three properties to ensure everyone was out.
Meanwhile, the woman went back for her pets. One of the hamsters died but the other two survived. Afterwards the woman was treated at the scene by paramedics.
The district commander with Dorset Fire and Rescue, Steve Waller, said: “When crews arrived they could work out that the adjacent flats had been evacuated thanks to the fire alarm system in the block.
“There was smoke issuing from the first-floor flat and a number of people were standing outside.
“The lady from the flat involved in the fire, who re-entered the premises to rescue some pets, put herself at considerable risk.
‘We would always state please do don’t do this. Leave that to us and we will do our best.”
Copyright Press Association 2013