Va. FFs find 6-foot alligator in home during fire

Officials said the alligator, named "Smiley," was kept as a pet by the homeowners

By Laura French

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. — Virginia firefighters made a surprising discovery while responding to a residential fire on Friday. 

Franklin County Department of Public Safety personnel responded to the blaze and came across a six-foot-long alligator while fighting the fire, according to WSET

Officials learned the 12-year old alligator was named "Smiley" and had been kept as a pet by the homeowners for about eight years. 

The alligator was turned over to a rescue group and will be placed into a natural habitat after a medical evaluation, according to the public safety department. 

According to Virginia administrative code, a special permit from the state Department of Wildlife Resources is required to possess certain exotic animals, including alligators. 

Four snakes and two turtles were also in the home, officials said. 


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