Sooty the possum was lucky to escape from a combustion stove at a Pimlico house.
Sooty the possum was lucky to escape from a combustion stove at a Pimlico house. Jeanette Dundas

Man's shock as possum drops into his stove fire

WHEN Pimlico man Brian lit the fire in his slow combustion stove, smoke poured out into the room.

The flue was obviously blocked.

But, almost immediately after, a possum dropped into the fire.

Brian acted quickly and got the possum out, but was unsure if it had sustained burns, so he called WIRES for help.

Sooty, as the young possum was named, was extremely lucky.

After rescue and examination it turned out that she had sustained minimal damage as she had avoided the hot part of the fire box. Her main concern was smoke inhalation.

Possums, gliders and many bird species use hollows as homes. Sadly, as human habitat expands, these are no longer as easy to find. A chimney or flue looks very much like a hollow log and clearly this possum had been seeking shelter in this man-made home.

Sooty is fairly young and should most certainly have still been with her mum, but she was not in good body condition, indicating she may have lost her mum some time prior to sheltering in Brian's flue.

She has now been in care with WIRES for a week and is doing well.

Shortly she will be transferred to a large aviary till she is ready to be released back to the wild.

If you have a fireplace it is a good idea to ensure you have an adjustable stainless steel chimney cap.

It is the only way to prevent animals from entering your chimney or flue.

Please call WIRES on 66281898 should you find a native animal in trouble.