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Note to homeowners: when ridding property of snakes, don't set them ablaze

From Joe Sutton, CNN
updated 2:56 AM EDT, Sat March 23, 2013
  • Fire crews respond to 911 call Wednesday evening
  • They find Texas homes on fire
  • Blaze apparently results from snake set afire

(CNN) -- Some people go to desperate measures when they see a snake, any snake.

But for a Texas homeowner, an impromptu anti-snake solution -- set that repulsive reptile on fire -- came back to bite. Big time.

Six fire crews in eastern Texas had to respond this week as a house burned, with the unidentified owner blaming the blaze on a blazing snake.

The homeowner in the Liberty-Eylau area south of Texarkana had spotted what was described as a large black snake, and decided to do something about it.

"She just didn't like snakes, I guess," Liberty-Eylau Fire Chief David Wesslehoft told CNN on Friday, in something of an understatment.

The woman said she poured gasoline on the snake, which apparently was then set afire by her son, according to Wesslehoft.

Then things really got hot.

The snake fled to a brush pile between two homes. The brush ignited, sending flames through tall, dry grass toward the residences, officials said.

"The house is on fire," a 911 caller said. "Could you hurry up, please?"

A brick home the woman had recently purchased to move into was a complete loss, said Bowie County Sheriff's Deputy Randall Baggett. The other home, which she also owned, suffered 20% damage.

The fire was being investigated. The snake's fate was not known.

CNN's Phil Gast contributed to this report.

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