Rowan Co. man tries to burn snakes, ends up destroying several buildings

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SALISBURY, N.C. —In a quest to rid a couple of copperhead snakes from his yard, a man unknowingly started a fire that burned and destroyed four buildings on his property in Rowan County.

William Litaker, 82, told the Salisbury Post he’d seen a couple of copperheads behind a mobile home he used as storage. So he thought Thursday was a pretty enough day to “smoke ’em out.”

According to the paper, Litaker poured kerosene on the ground and lit it. The fire quickly spread to a barn, two sheds and the mobile home.

The fire destroyed all of the structures that contained antiques and farming equipment. Litaker was not injured.

Firefighters had to get water from the nearest fire hydrant located about three miles away at West Rowan High.

Fire Investigators said the weather conditions have been dry and the wind helped the fire spread.

“I was tryin’ to burn him out, but he burnt me out,” he said of the snake.

Read more: Salisbury Post


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