Michigan Firefighter Rescues 6-Foot Python From Blaze: 'I Would Do It For Any Creature'

April 1, 2014

AP Photo/Courtesy of Gordon Cole

This photo provided by Gordon Cole, firefighter Scott Hemmelsbach holds a python after rescuing it from a burning home in Muskegon, Mich., on Sunday, March 30, 2014.

Prepare yourself for the cutest snake rescue you've read about in a while.

Muskegon, Mich. firefighter Scott Hemmelsbach rescued a 6-foot-long python from a burning, smoke-filled house Sunday. He told the Muskegon Chronicle he was reluctant to rush into the building, but because of his experience handling snakes, he eventually agreed to go into the two-story house, looking to rescue the reptile.

"It was trying to crawl up the side of his terrarium and get out," 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."

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The firefighter said he learned how to handle snakes while he was at Grand Haven High School, where he helped showcase them.

"I'd take them around and show them to the kids in the elementary classes," he said. "That didn't bother me at all."

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."

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Two people in the home escaped without injury, fire officials said. 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."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report

MORE: Venomous Snakes of the World

Mambas, which are found throughout Africa, are one of the deadliest snakes in the world. Worldwide these and other snakes kill more than 20,000 people each year, according to WHO data. (H. Krisp/Wikimedia Commons)


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