DERRY BOROUGH (KDKA) – It’s not unusual to hear about firefighters rescuing people from a burning building. On Saturday, it wasn’t people they were rescuing, it was slithering snakes – about 10 of them, including a boa constrictor.

According to officials at the scene, two children were home alone when the fire started on South Ligonier Street in Derry Borough.

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Neighbor Fred Suell said he saw smoke – like people burning tires – coming past his window. When he looked outside, he saw a fire which appeared to be in his neighbor’s backyard.

The two children got out of the burning house safely.

Derry Borough Fire Chief Brock Dwire said that his men have been in structure fires before where snakes have been rescued.

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Dwire added, jokingly “It was probably a good thing that we didn’t know about the snakes before we went in, I know myself I’m not a big fan [of snakes].”

Matthew Shaffer, who with his sister got out of the house without injury, saidall his snakes but one survived.

Chief Dwire said a state police fire marshal is expected to be in Derry Borough on Monday to try to determine a cause.

Two ferrets and two dogs died in the blaze.

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