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Woman taken to hospital as pet snakes die in house blaze
A WOMAN has been taken to hospital and "up to 100" snakes have died in a house fire in York.
The fire broke out at about 12.20pm today at a detached house in Boothwood Road in Rawcliffe, with four fire crews and police being called to the scene.
The woman, who was the only person in the house at the time but is not the owner of the property, is believed to have been trapped in a first-floor bedroom from where she phoned 999 and was given "fire survival guidance" by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
She was rescued from the house and has been taken to hospital, but her injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
Station Manager Alan Bell said the fire was originally thought to have started in the downstairs kitchen, but it was later discovered it had begun in "a reptile room" in the house.
He said there were "a significant number of snakes" in the house, and all or most of them have been killed.
The cause of the fire is currently being investigated, but Station Manager Bell said that it was not believed to be suspicious. He said the guidance the woman was given by 999 operators may have saved her life, saying: "Without it, the outcome could have been very different as the operator was able to talk to her while simultaneously directing fire crews to the scene."
The area around the house was cordoned off this afternoon as the investigation continues. The Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopter was also at the scene as a precautionary measure, but was not needed to take the women for hospital treatment.