Weymouth hamster rescue fire woman criticised

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A woman has been criticised by a fire chief after she re-entered her burning flat to try to rescue her pet hamsters.

Residents at the block in St Mary Street in Weymouth, Dorset, managed to escape the blaze which started just after 18:00 GMT on Sunday.

Fire crews had to break into three properties to ensure everyone was out while the woman went back for her pets.

One of the hamsters died but the other two were saved. An electrical fault in a tumble dryer has been blamed.

'Considerable risk'

Steve Waller, district commander with Dorset Fire and Rescue, said: "When crews arrived they had smoke issuing from the first-floor flat and a number of people standing outside.

"They worked out the people were from adjacent flats that had been evacuated thanks to the fire alarm system in the block.

"The lady from the flat involved in the fire did put herself at considerable personal risk as she re-entered the premises to rescue some pets.

"We would always state please do don't do this. Leave that to us and we will do our best."

The woman was treated at the scene by paramedics.

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