Alligator rescued from burning building in Philadelphia

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   April 20, 2017 at 11:46 AM

April 20 (UPI) -- Firefighters battling a blaze at a Philadelphia barbershop with apartments above it helped with the rescue of an unusual victim: an alligator.

Philadelphia Fire Department crews responded shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday to the fire at a barbershop in the Tacony section of the city.

Crews searching the scene for potential victims found a pet alligator inside a fish tank with "green slime."

The fire department called the Red Paw Relief Team, a nonprofit emergency response team specializing in animal rescues, but the group said it is unable to assist in situations involving illegal animals, such as alligators.

"Hey @ACCTPhilly, @PhillyFireDept just called us for an alligator displaced by a fire. We deferred to you guys!" the group tweeted.

The Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia confirmed it sent officers to the scene.

"Just after 8:30 p.m., we received a request from Red Paw asking us to handle a case where the fire department was responding to a fire and as they knocked down the fire police entered the home only to find an alligator in a home," the group said in a statement to KYW-TV. "The police called Red Paw and Red Paw deferred the call to us."

Firefighters said two people were taken to a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries believed to be minor burns and smoke-related injuries.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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