Reptile escape fear in blaze drama
A fire at a reptile emporium housing poisonous snakes and scorpions led concerned neighbours to seek shelter at a football stadium last night.
Firefighters were called out to Reptile Land pet shop in Hull just after 12.30am, where they discovered a blaze on the first floor of the store, on the city's Anlaby Road.
When crews realised the shop contained dangerous snakes and poisonous scorpions, between eight and 10 neighbours were removed to the KC Stadium, home of Hull City Football Club, for a short time.
Glenn Ramsden, of Humberside Fire and Rescue, said: "Following information from the key holder of the premises it was found that some of the many reptiles in the building could be dangerous.
"At this point the officer in charge took the decision to evacuate neighbouring homes should the animals escape their cages during the incident. Residents were taken to the KC Stadium by Humberside Police."
Around 30 firefighters arrived at the scene to tackle the fire and rescue the shop's reptilian inhabitants, but although they saved a number of animals, including a 10ft-long boa constrictor, other animals perished in the flames.
In total it is thought 10 snakes, two tortoises, four iguanas and an unknown number of scorpions died.
Mr Ramsden praised the bravery of the fire crews for their attempts to save the frightened creatures.
He said: "Watch manager Ian Marritt had a huge number of matters to prioritise in a very short space of time, under very difficult circumstances.
"The crews did an outstanding job preventing what could have been serious fire spread, saving a number of animals in the process."
He added that the owner of the store, which also houses and rehomes rescued reptiles, was confident that all the creatures had been accounted for.
The fire, which is believed to have been caused by an electrical problem, was put out by around 5.30am this morning.
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
Justin Bieber's unfinished monkey business
World news in pictures
Cameron goes to war with press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
Revealed: Eerie new images show forgotten French apartment that was abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched for 70 years
- 1 Tears and cheers as David Beckham ends glittering career after helping PSG to final win
- 2 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 Cameron goes to war with press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
£50000 - £58000 per annum + Benefits and Bonus: Progressive Recruitment: SAP F...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + BENS: Progressive Recruitment: Drupal Developer A ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + bens: Progressive Recruitment: C# WEB DEVELOPER Le...
£240 - £260 per day: Progressive Recruitment: WPF Developer (C#, VB.Net) North...