Pet snake dies and house gutted in power cuts candle fire

The scene of the house fire on Aldcliffe Hall Drive, Lancaster
The scene of the house fire on Aldcliffe Hall Drive, Lancaster

A tropical snake died and a family lost their home after a candle lit to keep the pet warm during power cuts started a fire.

Fire crews were called to a house on Aldcliffe Hall Drive in Lancaster during the severe flooding in the district.

Crews from Leyland, Hornby and Fulwood who were in the area to assist emergency crews locally were diverted to the fire, along with two local fire crews.

The large detached bungalow was well alight when crews arrived and the whole of the roof, one bedroom and its contents were destroyed, along with the snake.

There was also substantial smoke, fire and water damage to the property and the family living there had to seek temporary emergency accommodation with neighbours.

John Taylor, from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Crews were called out at 11.55am and by 1.30pm that day, December 6, the main fire had been extinguished and only small pockets of fire remained.

“Crews removed tiles and took the roof covering off. It was a fire that had taken considerable hold.

“It emerged a candle had been lit in one of the bedrooms due to a power cut to keep a pet snake warm.

“Whilst a member of the family went to check on the welfare of elderly neighbours during the power outage. the candle set fire to curtains or upholstery, causing the blaze in which the house was destroyed and the pet snake died.

“A smoke alarm sounded and a family member returned to the house but inhaled smoke.

“She was treated at the scene by ambulance crews and taken to hospital for treatment.”