United States

Reptile's Heat Lamp Sparked Apartment Fire in Potomac

The reptile was OK -- and appeared to smile in a photo

A heat lamp that warms a reptile that wears an American flag vest sparked an apartment fire in Potomac, Maryland, Tuesday evening, officials believe.

A high-rise apartment building on the 12500 block of Park Potomac Avenue was partially evacuated about 6 p.m. after smoke was seen on the first floor.

The Montgomery County fire department responded and found a small fire inside a first-floor apartment.

The fire was likely caused by a heat lamp used in a "reptile habitat," a fire department spokesman said on Twitter.

The reptile was not harmed, and was outside its terrarium at the time of the fire. A photo shows the animal wearing an American flag vest -- and appearing to smile.

The fire caused an estimated $5,000 damage, the fire department said.

Additional information on the reptile was not available immediately. 

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