When a Maryland homeowner realized her home was infested with snakes, she desperately tried to get them out but instead set her home on fire.
The homeowner attempted to use smoke to control a snake infestation on Nov. 23, but the coals — used as a heat source — got too close to combustible materials, and the Dickerson home went up in flames, according to county fire investigators.
It’s totally a bizarre turn of events, he was too determined to get rid of these snakes that he uses live coals and accidentally sets his $1.8 million home on fire.
WJLA-TV reported the incident:
The fire started in the basement of the home, located in the 21000 block of Big Woods Road, and spread through the walls and floors.
Seventy-five firefighters from the area responded to battle the blaze around 10 p.m. When they arrived, the multi-story home was showing heavy flame and the structure and roof collapsed. There was not a hydrant in the area, MCFRS spokesman Pete Piringer said.
The damage is estimated at more than $1 million. According to public records, the homeowner bought the home for $1.8 million.
According to Redfin that the home was built in 1977 in the Tudor style, boasted six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, and sat on nearly 25 acres.
Piringer said the coals used were close to combustibles which set the blaze. The homeowner and residents were unharmed but the state of the snakes is “undetermined,” Piringer added.
“Whatever process was being used, and there was number off, they believe a number of platforms — metal buckets, containers of various kinds used, throughout, creating the smoke,” Piringer said.
“And they believe some of that, again, combustibles, in this case, may have been a wall or some other combustible material, too close to the heat source,” he said.
ICYMI – Update Big Woods Rd, house fire 11/23; CAUSE, accidental, homeowner using smoke to manage snake infestation, it is believed heat source (coals) too close to combustibles; AREA of ORIGIN, basement, walls/floor; DAMAGE, >$1M; no human injures; status of snakes undetermined https://t.co/65OVYAzj4G pic.twitter.com/xSFYi4ElmT
— Pete Piringer (@mcfrsPIO) December 3, 2021
In an interview with a Conservation specialist Beth Schlimm, he said via WTTG-TV in Washington it wasn’t impossible for homeowners to find snakes seeking refuge from the elements by hunkering down in homes.
“During the wintertime, like any other animal, you know they’re naturally going to want to find a space where they can stay warm and they’re not going to freeze,” Schlimm said.
“So typically that might mean finding a crevice in a fallen tree or in a pile of rocks. But occasionally they find a crack in someone’s foundation to their house.”
Officials warned that this is a very dangerous method to combat unwelcome snakes, for reasons so clearly demonstrated in this case.
No one was injured in the blaze, which was deemed accidental, and the owner very likely accomplished what he set out to do.