Firefighter Pulls 6-Foot Python From Blaze
'I would do it for any creature,' says Mich. man
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 31, 2014 12:17 PM CDT
A python is is prepared for transport in this Wednesday Jan. 29, 2014, file photo.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

(Newser) – A firefighter put his reptile-handling experience to good use when he rescued a 6-foot-long python from a burning home in western Michigan last night. Muskegon firefighter Scott Hemmelsbach told the Muskegon Chronicle that he reluctantly agreed to enter the two-story, smoke-filled house to retrieve the snake. He says he cradled the "weighty" snake before carrying it to safety. "It was trying to crawl up the side of his terrarium," Hemmelsbach said. "His face was pushed up on the screen and trying to get out. There was a lot of smoke and he was trapped."

The firefighter said he learned how to handle snakes while he was in high school, where he helped showcase them. "I'd take them around and show them to the kids in the elementary classes," he said. When Hemmelsbach reached the python inside the home, he gingerly handled him so not to scare the reptile. "I removed the screen off the top and knew to approach it by coming up behind his head. He became very active, and I was glad because that meant that he was OK." The fire significantly damaged the home, and the cause is under investigation. "I would do it for any creature," Hemmelsbach said. "I'm just glad it had a happy ending." (Click to read about another unusual animal rescue.)

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
Ezekiel 25:17
Mar 31, 2014 10:18 PM CDT
I hope he did his best Peewee Herman impression as he exited the building.
Mar 31, 2014 9:53 PM CDT
It depends on how dangerous the fire is. If it's really a dangerous situation at that point, then it's utter stupidity to risk his own life for a snake. People are more valuable.
Mar 31, 2014 5:21 PM CDT
Good for him! Personally, I might have drawn the line at mouth-to-snout resuscitation.