Goldfish Survives House Fire In UK: How Did ‘Smokey’ Endure Two Years Under Rubble With No Food Or Fresh Water?

By Philip Ross on September 20, 2013 3:28 PM EDT

goldfish
A resilient goldfish survived nearly two years trapped under a pile of rubble at a burned down home in Essex, England. The fish, named Smokey, was reunited with the homeowner. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Most people find it difficult to keep a pet goldfish alive. But even a fire and two years of isolation couldn't kill one resilient fish in England. While cleaning up the debris from a house fire two years ago in Essex, a county about 46 miles northeast of London, a crew of contractors came across a goldfish that had been trapped in a pond underneath a pile of rubble.

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The garden pond used to carry a bunch of the fish, including koi, but the couple who owned the home, Jackie and Billy Broadley, removed them after a fire in Dec. 2011 destroyed their home and three others on their block. More than twenty people were homeless following the devastating blaze. The Broadleys, unfortunately, were unable to care for the surviving fish - some of which were worth thousands of dollars - and had to give them away.

They thought they had completely cleared the garden pond of all its fish, but apparently there was one lone survivor. They were surprised to find the fish alive, because, as The BBC notes, the buildup of carbon dioxide and waste product would be enough to eventually kill a goldfish.

"When I got the phone call to say there was a surviving fish from the old pond, I thought somebody was winding me up," Jackie Broadley, 60, told Metro.

According to The Daily Mail, experts think the fish may have gone into a state of hibernation, using just a little bit of energy to function.

"It was quite a surprise for the contractors and extremely fortunate Smokey survived all these months," Paul Honeywood, who works for Tendring District Council, which owns the house with the pond, told The BBC. "It is great to know that he will be returned to where he belongs and will be looked after by the contractors until that can take place."

"Getting Smokey back has really lifted our spirits - I could not believe it when I saw him," Jackie Broadley told The Daily Mail. "I think he must have survived on little insects and algae in the pond."

Read more from iScience Times:

Goldfish Can Distinguish Between The Music Of Bach And Stravinsky; Can You? [STUDY]

Monster Goldfish Found: What Lies In The Waters Of Lake Tahoe? [PHOTO] [VIDEO]

Dead Fish In China: 220,000 Pounds Of Poisoned Fish Surface In Fuhe River

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