Firefighters on James Island in South Carolina were shocked when they found out the home they were trying to save from fire housed more than 50 venomous snakes in the garage. Once they were informed that the snakes were venomous, the firefighters took precautions. Unfortunately, they were not able to save the snakes. The fire started at a breaker box in the garage in which the reptiles were kept.
“It is shocking. It is definitely one for the books for us. It’s not something we normally run across,” James Island Fire Chief Chris Seabolt told News2.”But luckily everyone was safe and once we found the potential of venomous snakes in there, we were careful to make sure we didn’t get anybody injured.”
The owner of the house works for a company that removes nuisance animals, and some of the reptiles that the company was tasked to remove had become part of the man’s reptile collection. His boss said the homeowner kept rattlesnakes, water moccasins and even a cobra, in addition to lizards and turtles, according to News2. The family’s two dogs and a carpet python survived the fire.
“You see stuff like this happen on the news, but when it happens to a friend and a neighbor I really feel bad for them,” Debbie Hughes, a neighbor, told News2. “My heart goes out to them and their children and their animals that were lost in the garage. That’s really terrible. When they come home and see their home and they have nothing to come home to, that’s very sad too.”