Lincolnshire

Kittens and snakes killed in Stickney house fire

Fire at house in Stickney, Lincolnshire Image copyright Andy Bushall
Image caption Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue said officers were still searching for surviving animals

Several animals have died and many more have been rescued after a house fire in Lincolnshire.

Firefighters were called to the house in Stickney, near Boston, shortly after 07:00 BST, to reports a large number of animals were trapped.

RSPCA officers, who also helped, said seven snakes, a lizard, two cats and eight kittens died in the fire.

Fourteen dogs, spiders and a cat were rescued by fire crews and two puppies were treated after breathing in smoke.

One snake needed treatment from a vet although other animals checked over by the RSPCA were found to be unharmed.

Four people were also treated for the effects of smoke inhalation.

'Lost everything'

Occupant Sharron Butcher told the BBC she was a breeder and the family had been in the process of starting up a new animal business.

"I'm devastated," she said.

"This is my whole life and it's gone in 20 minutes.

"We've lost all the animals that were upstairs. We've lost everything."

Image caption Fourteen dogs were rescued from the burning property
Image caption This snake was also safely removed from the house

An RSPCA spokeswoman said some of the family's pets were still unaccounted for.

Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue said the fire, which started on the first floor, was not thought to be suspicious and was being investigated.

Police closed the A16, Main Road through the village during the blaze.

Image caption The family said they had "lost everything" in the space of 20 minutes

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