Skip to main content

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.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 11:17 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
The beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley by ISIS militants brings into focus the risks faced by reporters in conflict zones.
updated 8:19 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
In an exclusive CNN interview, Lance Armstrong admits to having a "f**k you" attitude.
updated 4:58 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Summer isn't over yet. These new hotels are keeping it alive and fresh.
updated 11:35 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
You've seen her turn on the catwalk, but her income might make your head spin.
updated 8:36 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
The pain that Michael Brown's parents are going through is something Sybrina Fulton can relate to. She, too, lost a son in a controversial shooting.
updated 5:04 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
19-year-old Udi Segal explains why he won't join the country's military.
updated 8:34 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
The sights couldn't be sadder: Animals killed or suffering through war in Gaza.
updated 9:14 AM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
They are the faces of a community on the run. Photographer Warzer Jaff documents the plight of the Yazidis.
updated 7:50 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
A cameraman films a massive New York City subway rat charging at him and attacking him. WPIX reports.
Drinkers guzzled an incredible 10.3 billion liters of this brand in 2013, making it the world's No.1 beer. And you may have never heard of it.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.