Around 100 snakes and other exotic animals have been rescued from a house fire in Banbury.
Three fire engines from Banbury and Hook Norton Fire Station were called to the report of a house fire on Middleton Road at 18:14 on 4th February 2018.
Thames Valley Police were also in attendance and assisted with closing the road and providing support to the residents.
The incident involved a severe fire in the basement of a four-storey house.
On arrival, the crews were faced with a fire that was rapidly spreading to the ground floor and the occupier informed the crew that a large number of snakes and other exotic animals were kept in the property.
Four fire fighters wearing breathing apparatus and using high pressure hose reels managed to make their way into the basement with thermal imaging cameras to extinguish the fire.
A large fan was used to remove the smoke which had spread throughout the building and it was at this point that crews reported that a large number of snakes had escaped from their housing.
Around 100 snakes in total were recovered by fire fighters to be reunited with their owner for rehoming.
The last fire engine left the scene at around 21:30.
The fire investigation started as soon as the fire was out and it was determined that the most likely cause was electrical.
Watch Manager John Callaway said “We quickly established that the snakes were non-venomous and that no specialist assistance was needed.
It was unfortunate that some hadn't survived the fire but many were saved.
It is not uncommon for fires to be started due to an electrical fault and I urge anyone with concerns about fire safety in the home to visit our website 365alive.co.uk or to seek advice from a competent electrician”.