Story at a glance

  • A fire was accidentally sparked in the Montgomery County home on Nov. 23.
  • The owner tried smoking snakes out of the house using coals.
  • Fire officials say the fire was ignited when the coals got too close to combustibles.

A Maryland homeowner attempting to fight off a snake infestation with smoke accidentally burned their home down last month, according to local fire officials

A fire was accidentally sparked in the Montgomery County home on Nov. 23 when the owner tried smoking the snakes out of the house using coals. 

Fire officials say the fire was ignited when the coals got too close to combustibles. 


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“It is believed that the heat source was too close to the combustibles and caused fire in the walls and ceiling area, unknown and unbeknownst to the homeowner at that time,” Peter Piringer, public information officer for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, said, according to NBC News

“The snakes — the original culprits of this process — which the homeowner was trying to eradicate from this space using smoke apparently did not go as planned,” Piringer said. 

Piringer told NBC News that firefighters fighting the blaze did find some snake skins, and one snake was seen coming out of the foundation of the home. As for any other snakes, Piringer said their status was “undetermined.” 

The blaze reportedly caused more than $1 million in damages, but no injuries were reported.


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Published on Dec 03, 2021