LEHI — Firefighters responding to a "routine" kitchen fire Friday morning found themselves faced with something they didn't expect.
"It was kind of a routine fire until we were notified that there were some snakes. They had some pet snakes in the upstairs," said Lehi Fire Capt. Robert Stanley.
The residents in the townhouse at 430 N. 470 West all got out safely and alerted their neighbors to the blaze around 7 a.m., Stanley said. When firefighters arrived, they were able to rescue the docile snakes and quickly extinguish the blaze.
"They didn't pose any problems to us," he said. "One of our firefighters was able to bring the large snake out around his neck with no issue."
Several smaller snakes were carried out in their containers.
Additionally, firefighters got some help from a neighbor "who just happens to be a snake handler," Stanley said. The snakes appeared unharmed and were not experiencing effects of smoke inhalation, he said.
Kyle Dodge, the homeowner, had gotten calls at work from his family alerting him about the fire and letting him know they were safe, but he said he was concerned about his pets.
Dodge was relieved when he arrived at the house and saw that all the snakes had been rescued.
"I hurried home because I was worried about my family as well as my snakes," he said. "I had no idea. I was just really happy they ended up safe."Comment on this story
Dodge said he has a large Dumeril's boa that he has owned for 10 years, as well as several ball pythons.
"They're great pets," he said, "maybe not that loving, but that's just part of life. They're still cool. I enjoy them (and) my family enjoys them, so I keep them."
Thanks to firebreaks between the townhomes, the flames didn't spread to any neighboring units, Stanley said.
Though firefighters believe they know how the fire started, a fire marshal will investigate the blaze to confirm what happened, according to Stanley.
The Red Cross of Utah will assist the family while they are displaced.