Firefighters are used to facing dangerous situations on the job. Collapsing buildings, explosions, masturbating gay porn stars, NYPD officers stuck in trees, etc. One thing they probably don't expect to encounter, though, is a room full of venomous snakes.
Last week, a crew of firefighters in northern Utah responded to a routine call for a small kitchen fire in a house. The fire was quickly extinguished, and the firefighters did a routine sweep through the home. The firefighters didn't find any other fires, but they did discover a room full of dozens of snakes.
“We always have a search team go in to clear the house and make sure there are no humans,” North Davis, Utah Fire Chief Mark Becraft told ABC News. “They came out with an all clear but said that there were numerous snakes caged in the house…They definitely didn’t want to handle them.”
Six venomous snakes were among those discovered, including five albino western diamondback rattlesnakes and a Gaboon viper, a snake native to Africa that is widely considered one of the world's deadliest, in part because its anti-venom is rare in the United States.
All 28 snakes were confiscated by Animal Control, though the 22 non-venomous snakes will eventually be returned to the owner.
“The remaining 22 were [legal] snakes you can pick up at any pet store,” Davis County Animal Services Director Clint Thacker said. “There’s nothing in the ordinance that says you can only have so many snakes, so the legal ones were returned.”
But because venomous snakes are illegal in Utah, the five rattlesnakes were donated to an educational rehab facility while the Gaboon viper remains in custody of the Division of Wildlife.