A SHARK was killed in a blaze which destroyed a bungalow in South Yorkshire.
The pet shark - named Feargal - was kept in a fish tank in a bungalow on Clarendon Road, Eastwood, Rotherham.
Fire broke out moments after the power to the tank, for lighting, heating and filtering, was switched on.
Neighbours Nina and Stephen Hoyland heard smoke alarms sounding next door and raised the alarm.
They said within two minutes of the switch being flicked on the tank - which they could hear vibrating through the wall - they saw flames shooting from a bedroom window.
Nina, aged 34, banged frantically on the doors and windows to try to rouse her neighbour who she feared was still inside. Firefighters smashed their way in to search the burning building but found it empty.
But Feargal, a two-and-a-half-year-old brown shark, perished in the blaze.
The fire was so fierce that Feargal’s owner - a 42-year-old disabled man who does not want to be named - will need to be re-homed.
He told The Star: “I am upset about the shark.
“I was at hospital when my daughter rang me to say the place was on fire. When I got back the police and firefighters were there. I hadn’t been out long after popping back to switch on the fish tank, so I couldn’t believe it.
“I am gutted - everything has gone - but the main thing is nobody was hurt.
“The fire started in my bedroom and the couple next door were in so it could easily have spread, but they heard the alarm and got out.”
Nina said: “We heard our neighbour come home and switch something on, which he always does because we can hear it vibrating through our wall. The next thing we knew my husband said he could hear something like rain and when he looked outside he saw flames shooting out of the bedroom window next door.
“He dialled 999 and I ran out of the front door and was hammering on the door and windows because I was panicking our neighbour was trapped inside.
“We heard him come home but never heard him go out again so we were desperate for the fire brigade to get there.”
Nina, who herself lost a previous home in Herringthorpe to a chip pan fire, added: “I’ve had a house fire myself so I know how quickly they go up, so it was terrifying. This must have only taken a couple of minutes.”
Firefighters found the blaze was caused by an electrical fault in the bedroom, at a socket where a set of fairylights was also plugged in.
Station manager Jon Torn said: “Half of all accidental fires begin with an electrical appliance, so it’s really important to be sure your electrics are in good working order and are used properly.”
He warned: “Don’t overload plug sockets, regularly check for worn or frayed wires, unplug appliances when not in use, keep appliances clean and in good working order, and consider using a Residual Current Device which works like a circuit breaker to protect against electric shocks and reduces the risk of electrical fires.”