A goldfish from a hook-a-duck stand has died at the age of 18, leaving a big space in his owner’s tank.

The remarkable fish called Rusty came home with Ena Woolford from a fair at Ruthin Farmers Auction in November 1999 and even survived a house fire in 2015.

Ena, who was in hospital at the time, says a fire in the microwave led to serious smoke damage in the house with fire crews finding Rusty floating in his tank on his side. Thanks to one quick-witted fire crew member, Rusty was revived, and managed to live another two years.

Ena says she feels a bit daft to be missing a fish, but that he lived a very long life.

Ena, 92, said: “We called him Rusty as he always had this streaky look about him.

“All the way back in November 1999, I took my grandson to the fair, which was just down the road in the farmers auction yard.

“It was a bitterly cold evening and these fish were hanging outside the “hook a duck” stall, where you had a prize every time.

“I won one for my grandson, then spotted this lovely fantail one, so I gave the man a pound, but didn’t even bother to hook a duck. We brought him home, bought a little tank, and he blossomed.

“Two years ago, I had a house fire when I was in hospital. The microwave blew up and caused extensive smoke damage. The fish was floating on its side, but the fireman told my daughter to get a bowl of cold water, which she did.

“He kept twirling the water around him quite fast, and the fish responded and he’d been fine ever since.”

Rusty is currently in the freezer.

Ena added: “The other morning I got up and he’d gone.

“It’s very sad, but he had a good life, and I felt a bit silly admitting to be missing a goldfish, but he’s left a big space in the tank!”