News24

Snakes scare Austria firefighters

2012-01-04 21:31

Vienna - Hoses weren't the only things uncoiling at this blaze. Austrian firefighters answering an alarm found something their training didn't prepare them for - a trove of highly venomous snakes.

Fire department spokesperson Franz Resperger says 85 fire fighters beat a hasty retreat from a burning barn east of Vienna after a neighbour told them to watch out for the reptiles kept by the owner inside.

The blaze was finally put out on Tuesday after an expert summoned to the scene captured seven snakes, including an Indian cobra and two Australian taipans - all packing potent venom that Resperger said there was no antidote for in Austria.

He says one of the reptiles was nearly 2m long.