Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Sunday, 25 May 2008 10:51 UK

Snake-fearing man's slippery task

Boa constrictor (generic)
It took 40 minutes to release the snake

A firefighter with a lifelong snake phobia was called to a house in Devon in the early hours to release a boa constrictor trapped behind a radiator.

Owner Nicola Bewer called emergency services after the 6ft (1.8m) snake called Chaos, who sleeps on a quilt in his own bedroom, became stuck.

A crew of firefighters led by snake-fearing Watch Commander Alan Gilson arrived at the Torquay house.

It then took the fire crew 40 minutes to release Chaos unharmed.

The experience has absolutely not cured my fear
Watch Commander Alan Gilson

"I do not like snakes, they are one of my childhood fears," said Mr Gilson who left the rescue to firefighter Mark Dunnett.

"Firefighter Dunnett pulled the snake from underneath and managed to release it.

"I did get my hands on the snake as I thought it was a good opportunity - but the experience has absolutely not cured my fear," said Mr Gilson.


SEE ALSO
Hunt under way for escaped snake
15 Aug 07 |  Northern Ireland

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