- Couple accidentally gets bag of cash at drive-thru
- Ghost hunters in Pa. are mistaken for burglars
- Topless barber charged with unlicensed cosmetology
- Russia outraged by giant Louis Vuitton suitcase
- Beijing destroys barbecue grills to cut pollution
- Dog found under rubble 9 days after Ill. tornado
- Ho, Ho, No! NYC Santa Claus parade comes to an end
- 'Dolly' the wandering llama caught in Michigan
- 852 Thai children set human Christmas tree record
- New ship's Capt. Kirk is used to 'Star Trek' jokes
- Burgled Pa. tattoo shop offers body art for info
- OKC bomb squad says suspicious item was a burrito
- NYC residents squawk about nuisance turkey flock
- Pong played on Philly skyscraper nets world record
- India: Gold bars worth $1M found in plane lavatory
- Man charged with driving BMW down 'Rocky' steps
- Pa. paper: Sorry for panning Gettysburg Address
- Wedding rings swapped for Chiefs tickets
- Pet kangaroo gets loose, causes stir in West Texas
- Images show woman on Chicago train with alligator
- Man held for didgeridoo attack on S. Calif. cab
- Former Vegas mayor blames Bourdain spat on booze
- Homeless man found in PA hotel presidential suite
- Michigan man wins million-dollar lottery -- again
- Ortiz gets Boston mayor votes but didn't place 3rd
- Two-headed Calf Born in Oregon
- Russia: Surgeon stole heroin found in stomach
- British cat DNA database helps convict killer
- Mystery of Texas grave next to Oswald's solved
- Knitters cover Pittsburgh's Warhol Bridge in yarn
- Animal welfare group vandalizes Iowa butter cow
- 'Frankenfish' hooked in Virginia a world record
- Pa. man wins sideburns contest honoring Navy hero
- Famous shark attack victim and his cool bionic robot limbs
- 4-year-old mayor is re-elected in northern Minn.
- China's heat wave brings 'dead' man back to life
- Escape artist pulls off locked coffin skydive
- Utah man accused of running speakeasy from garage
- New porn syphilis case highlights lax enforcement of Measure B
- Illegal buttocks injections kill, maim women
- Shark found at door of 'Sea Dog' pub on Nantucket
- Dropping $180 for bird poop facials at NYC spa
- Hungry bear gets take out at Colorado restaurant
- Simon Cowell -- Sex criminal! ... allegedly
- New Sasquatch video claims sighting in Canada
- Blacks, Hispanics more optimistic than whites
- A shark talk show highlight's Discovery's week
- Texan gets another wrong water bill topping $66K
- Owner could face charges for venomous snakes
- Arizona boy digging for worms finds a handgun
- Fire brigade to handcuffs users: Don't get stuck
- Owner could face charges for venomous snakes
- Amanda Bynes in psychiatric hospital--10 hrs of sanity, 1 hr of crazy
- Pa. judge fines woman who cursed at jury selection
- Biologists say dolphins may be first animals to have names for each other
- Would-be mermaid banned from Fla. pool
- Fisherman gets 230-lb. tuna despite capsized boat
- George H.W. Bush shaves head to encourage child
- Man swims across Detroit River, prompts rescue
- Montana man injured when bridge jumper lands on him
Owner could face charges for venomous snakes
Updated: Wednesday, July 31 2013, 11:20 AM PDT
By: PAUL FOY - Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY -- Firefighters arrived at a Utah home to put out a blaze started by a kitchen range and discovered more than flames — 28 snakes, six of them deadly.
The man didn't have a permit for the six venomous snakes — five rattlers and a gaboon viper — and he may face misdemeanor charges for keeping them without a permit. The viper, native to Africa, is considered one of the most dangerous in the world with potent venom.
The snakes were inside cages in a separate room and were removed as firefighters quickly put out the blaze on Friday in Clearfield, about 30 miles north of Salt Lake City.
"I don't think firefighters were ever in danger from the snakes, except for the creep factor," said North Davis Fire Chief Mark Becraft.
The poisonous snakes were confiscated by the Utah Division of Wildlife, where Capt. Tony Wood was trying to determine their fate — and whether to cite the owner.
"I'm just trying to wrap my head around the situation," he said Monday.
Fire and smoke damage left the man's duplex uninhabitable, Becraft said, but all the snakes survived.
The owner took his 22 other legal snakes for safekeeping to his father's house, Davis County Animal Control Director Clint Thacker said.
The seized rattlers will probably be released into the wild, and the viper could be sent to someone authorized to have it, said Jim Dix of Reptile Rescue of Tooele County.
The owner has been described variously by officials as a snake professional or breeder. Dix said the snakes were well fed, in good condition and that there was no threat to anyone in the neighborhood.
"We are seeing a big increase in illegal animals in Utah," he said. "It just goes on and on."
Dix said he was working with Utah officials to designate "amnesty" days for unlicensed owners who are willing to turn over exotic animals.
Earlier this year, Cottonwood Heights police cited a young man for failure to have an exotic pet permit and initially ordered him to get rid of all but one of his 29 boa constrictors he kept in special room in his basement with top-of-the-line cages.
The Cottonwood Heights City Council later gave him a reprieve, allowing Thomas Cobb to keep his snakes while officials revisit the city code.
Cobb still has the snakes he says are worth $12,000 apiece, and is waiting a resolution from city officials, Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. Mark Askerlund said.