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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Barney Davis

Firefighters pull snake from burning building in Greenford

Firefighters manage to pull a snake from the first floor of a burning building after a blaze sparked by a solar panel in west London.

The pet serpent was rescued from a first-floor bedroom as the fire ripped through a home in Ferrymead Avenue in Greenford on Wednesday.

Around 25 firefighters battled for more than two hours to disable solar panels so they could avoid being electrocuted as they got closer to extinguishing the source of the roof fire.

Other than the snake, there was nobody in the house at 4.30pm when the fire broke out.

A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “PVStop, which is a black liquid polymer coating designed to cover solar panels like a liquid tarpaulin, was used to isolate power to ten solar panels.

“It works by blocking the sunlight that powers solar panels, so the process of converting light into electricity is stopped. The panels are then de-energised, and the risk of electrocution is greatly reduced so crews can get closer and prevent fire spreading from a roof to the rest of the building.

“The cause of the fire is believed to have been accidental and involved a solar panel.”

Last month a huge snake described by firefighters as the “biggest they had ever seen” broke into a house and started a fire in Georgia, United States.

The snake had slithered into the house through a hole in the floor, through electrical wires under an oven.

As the snake emerged from the hole, it caused the electrical wires to short. As a result, a small fire broke out underneath the floor spreading to the rest of the house.

Firefighters found the snake still in the hole, but it had already died during the incident.

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