Firefighters have rescued a 6ft snake while tackling a house blaze.
The python was reported missing from a thatched home in a village near Bishops Stortford, Essex, after crews were called at 5am to reports of a roof fire which had spread through the property.
RSPCA officers were called to help in the search at Pledgdon Green, Henham.
A spokesman said the snake was found after a five-hour search.
He said: "The python has been located in the roof of the property - it fell down into the garden area as firefighting operations were taking place.
"It has been put in a secure place as crews concentrate on the fire."
Divisional officer Jon Anderson, incident commander, said that firefighters were this morning continuing to battle the flames.