A SNAKE tank fire in the borders left two men in hospital and killed two reptiles.
The early morning blaze at Newcastleton yesterday (wed) is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault in the tank equipment.
The tank was kept in the kitchen of a house in South Hermitage Street where flames damaged the kitchen and smoke damaged other areas of the property.
Two men aged 53 and 23 were taken to hospital in Carlisle after they breathed in smoke but a snake and lizard that were housed in the tank did not survive.
The incident comes just four days after a fire ripped through the reptile house at the Five Sisters Zoo in West Lothian.
Dozens of animals including tortoises, lizards, insects, crocodiles and otters were killed in the blaze.
A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: “We called to a house fire at South Hermitage Street in Newcastleton at 1.13am.
“The fire appears to have been caused by an electrical fault in a snake tank – the snake and lizard did not survive.
“The tank was held in the kitchen area of the property that was badly damaged.
“Other areas of the house were then damaged by smoke.
“There were two male casualties aged 53 and 23 who were suffering from smoke inhalation – they were then taken by ambulance to hospital in Carlisle.”