Firefighters Surprised By Crocodile


You’re responding to a fire and of all things you find a crocodile at the scene. Sounds pretty wild but that’s just what happened to some firefighters on the North Beaver Volunteer Fire Department. Responding to a call at Mount Jackson Grade School, which has been closed more than 20 years, firefighters not only came face to face with an estimated 6 foot long crocodile but more than 50 rabbits and four dogs, oh and some turtles too – all being kept as pets.

According to Chief Paul Henry the animals were owned by a man who was allowed to keep them on the property, however the man’s name is not being released.

The school, which was in decaying condition, was partially destroyed in order to extinguish the blaze that broke out around 2 pm. Firefighters from North Beaver Township, New Beaver, Bessemer, Wampum and Enon Valley were on site well into the evening. Also joining the group was an officer from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to deal with the turtles found in the building as well as Wes Osborne, of Crit-R-Done animal control company to handle the croc.

Osborne, who’s only had to deal with alligators in the past, said he used a special pair of protective gloves to handle the crocodile, duct-taped its snout shut and placed it in a heavy plastic bag.

The firefighters managed to rescue all of the animals with the exception of one dog who was taken by the blaze. Most of the animals are expected to be returned to the owner.

Source: Beaver County Times & Allegheny Times

Calkins Media photo by Eric Poole

Wes Osborne of Crit-R-Done animal control company carefully handles a 6-foot-long crocodile found at the site of a fire Thursday in North Beaver Township.