Giovani, a six-year-old African tortoise about the size of a football was unharmed, but one firefighter and three police officers suffered smoke inhalation during the fire in Bay Ridge Brooklyn.
Another turtle that lived in a water tank was also killed, according to the New York Post.
Fire officials said the heat lamp crashed to the floor, igniting a pile of art supplies, including thinner and paint. Within minutes, it had spread through the third floor flat. Giovani was found by one firefighter in the kitchen and was rescued.
Both the pets resided in their owner's bedroom – Mohamed Salem, 18, and his family, were not home at the time.