Python recovering well after YC blaze
A 9-foot python rescued by Yuba City firefighters Friday night is in good condition, says a resident of the apartment where the snake is housed.
“The snake's doing good,” said Garrett Wyllie, 21, who lives in the West Onstott Road duplex with the snake and its owner, Damon Wallace, who could not be reached for comment.
The Fire Department responded to a fire in the walk-in closet where the female Rockford python - “Leviathan” - was being kept.
Wyllie, who discovered the fire, said he could have doused it himself, but he shut the closet door and called the Fire Department because he did not want to contend with the 150-pound snake. People bitten by it have required stitches, he said.
“When I opened the closet where the snake was, smoke was billowing out,” Wyllie said. “The snake was freaking out, trying to attack.”
Firefighters rescued the snake and doused the fire. They administered oxygen to the snake inside the sack in which it was stuffed, possibly saving its life.
“We all thought it was going to die,” Wyllie said.
Though it is in good health, the reptile appears to have been somewhat traumatized by the experience.
“The snake's doing good, its health is back to normal, but it's pissed off,” Wyllie said. “I would be too if my habitat caught on fire.”
Wyllie said the snake now hisses and becomes aggressive whenever someone enters the room where it is contained in an aquarium. Before, it was unreactive and would remain motionless for long periods of time.
The snake is being evicted at the request of the landlord, Wyllie said.
The Fire Department said the fire resulted from a light that was used to warm the python. The light fell and ignited a rug, causing $100 damage.
While the Fire Department has rescued its share of birds from attics and dogs from storm drains, Battalion Chief Jeff Julian said he has never saved a python before. None of the firefighters were bitten.
“That was a new one on me,” Julian said.
Appeal-Democrat reporter John Dickey can be reached at 749-4711. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.