by JOHN HIGGINSON
Happy hamster: the survivor
A hamster was miraculously brought back to life after being cooked by accident.
The pet, called Christmas, must have had a gnawing feeling something was wrong when his cage was left on top of an oven and the hob was turned on by mistake.
The cage burst into flames and Christmas became a furry fireball.
When firefighters arrived to put out the blaze, the rodent was lying on his back with his charred legs in the air and tongue hanging out.
Officer Mark Spinks, 36, admitted: 'We all looked at each other and said, “That hamster is a goner”.'
But when colleagues gave Christmas a blast of oxygen, a few nips of Ribena and rubbed his belly, they were amazed to see him splutter back to life.
The drama unfolded after owner Stacy Bell, 24, moved Christmas into the kitchen because he was keeping son Dylan, four, awake.
Christmas is now recovering but hamster, egg and chips is unlikely to return to the menu at the Bell household in Dagenham, Essex.
Mrs Bell said: 'I am pleased Christmas is OK. The firemen were brilliant.'