What begins as an attempt to get rid of the nasty creatures ends with an entire house on fire.
A nearly 10,000 square foot home in Dickerson, Maryland, an hour west of Baltimore, was engulfed in flames on November 23 when the homeowner tried to suck out the snakes, Pete Piringer discovered. Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service chief spokesman, told CNN.
Piringer said snakes are an ongoing problem for this owner and previous tenants.
Piringer explains that coal is used as a heat source for the smoke, but they are placed too close to combustible materials, eventually causing the house to catch on fire.
The fire started in the basement and quickly spread through each floor, engulfing the multi-story home, according to CNN’s WJLA.
Update (November 23) Big Woods Road, house fire; CAUSE, incidentally, homeowners use smoke to manage snake infestations, thought to be heat sources (coal) too close to combustibles; AREA OF ORIGIN, basement, wall/floor; DAMAGE, > $1 million; no one was injured; solid status undetermined https://t.co/65OVYAQTWe pic.twitter.com/HIYOegJJT6
– Pete Piringer (@mcfrsPIO) December 3, 2021
Piringer told CNN that the homeowner had been at the house a few hours earlier, but fortunately no one was there when the fire started. A passing neighbor saw the smoke and called 911.
Around 10 p.m., 75 firefighters were on the scene to fight the fire.
“There are no fire hydrants in the area,” Piringer said. “It’s not a problem because we’re used to it, but we have to transport by water tanker.”
It took firefighters several hours to bring the blaze under control, but it was not until the next morning that it was completely extinguished.
Piringer said the damage would amount to more than $1 million. The home was purchased recently for $1.8 million, according to public records.
Fire authorities considered the incident an accident because there was no evidence or intent to start a fire.
Piringer recommends using other ways to combat their intrusion.
“There are animal services that can give and make recommendations, or pest control, or extermination,” says Piringer. “We recommend having professionals address any pest control issues to help maintain the situation.”
Since no one was home at the time, there were no injuries.
The condition of the snakes is unknown, but because the house was left in ruins, it is thought they no longer live there.