Alf Clayton, of Thornaby in West Yorkshire said that his two tortoises, Henry and Alice had only just woken from hibernation and that they were both obviously keen to make up for lost time.

Henry “was trying to mate with his partner,” chasing her around the tortoise den.

Firefighter from the local Cleveland Fire Department attributed the conflagration to a fallen incubator lamp that set fire to the wood chips around it inside the turtle’s terrarium.

Clayton says Henry “must have knocked the heater over” during his lustful pursuit.

Alas the two amorous reptiles both perished in the… heat of the moment, so to speak.

Clayton said his wife, Gayner Clayton, was “devastated” by the loss of the pets. “We tried our best to save them” he said, “but the blaze was too fierce.”

Let that be a lesson to all you teenagers out there: if you’re having sex on a bed of wood chips next to an incubator in a terrarium and you knock it over, you should pick it up before you set fire to your parent’s garage! Terrariums are expensive after all.

Image: Getty