A Lynchburg family was displaced Saturday evening after a fire damaged their Morgan Street home.
The cause: a failed attempt at killing a snake.
Battalion Chief Walt Bailey said around 4 p.m. Saturday a man was working in his yard in the 200 block of Morgan Street when he saw a snake. He decided to kill the snake by throwing gasoline on it and setting it on fire.
When he struck the match, Bailey said, a bush near the house also caught on fire.
Bailey said the man got out a garden hose, and thought he put out the fire.
However, the radiant heat from the bush ignited the insulation underneath the house’s metal siding.
Bailey said no one could tell the house was on fire for a couple of hours.
Around 9:07 p.m., the Lynchburg Fire Department was dispatched to the scene.
Bailey said he didn’t know how much damage was caused, but estimated it is in the thousands of dollars.
He said smoke was coming out from the side of the house and out of the attic.
“It’s not a total loss,” he said. “One of the walls in the home was burned through, and the ceilings had to be broken up.”
The family of five is now with the Lynchburg Chapter of the American Red Cross.
“I guess the moral of this story is that no matter how much you don’t like snakes, throwing gasoline on them is not a good way of killing them,” Bailey said.