By CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Maryland homeowner’s ill-advised plan to ward off a snake infestation using smoke took a disastrous turn when they accidentally burned down their Montgomery County manor.

Firefighters called to the home on Big Woods Road in Dickerson about 10 p.m. Nov. 23 found the roof had collapsed and the residence engulfed in flames, according to a Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service spokesperson.

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It took 75 firefighters to get the fire under control, but by that point the home was toast. It’s estimated the fire caused over $1 million in damage to the home, which property records show was purchased in 2014 for $1.85 million.

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Fortunately, no one was home at the time.

An investigation determined the homeowner had set up hot coals in the basement to smoke out snakes that had invaded the home. The coals were placed too close to combustible items, which ignited and set the house on fire.

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There’s no word yet on the condition of the snakes.

CBS Baltimore Staff