Firefighters rescue snake in house fire

Nobody injured; neighbors offer to help

Dan Pelle photo

Spokane firefighters Jared Contabile, left, and Jon Stevens emerge covered in insulation after tearing out a ceiling of a burning house at the corner of 46th Avenue and Stone Street on Wednesday.

November 29, 2012 - Updated: 4:51 a.m.

Firefighters rescued a pet python from a Spokane home Wednesday morning before the home nearly burned to the ground.

Fire crews were dispatched to the burning home in the 2300 block of East 46th Avenue at about 10 a.m.

Nobody was hurt, even as thick smoke filled the South Hill neighborhood.

The fire started in the backyard and was fueled by propane tanks, said Spokane Fire Battalion Chief Mike Thompson. Crews retrieved a pet python from a bedroom while they searched the home.

Dave Beine arrived to find his home smoldering as firefighters carried out a scorched couch. The garage door had been cut open. His wife, Kimberly Beine, arrived shortly after.

Some items in the home’s living area were salvaged by crews because the majority of the damage was in the attic, Thompson said.

Neighbors gathered to help the homeowners.

“It’s the American thing to do,” said Tom Kearney, the street’s block watch captain.

As a volunteer with the Inland Northwest chapter of the Red Cross, Kearney was already prepared with a box of food, water and blankets to help the Beines.

When carrying the python’s glass cage, Dave Beine cut himself. Kearney, a former physician, bandaged up his cut hand.

The neighborhood, Kearney said, is prepared to offer temporary housing and meals to the Beines.

“They won’t be on the street tonight,” Kearney added.

Map of this story's location

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