Deputies help rescue snake from fire

March 28, 2019

BOURBONNAIS – As police often say, there is no such thing as “a normal day” of work.

Two Kankakee County sheriff’s deputies demonstrated that fact early Thursday morning when they helped an owner rescue a 6-foot red-tailed boa constrictor from their smoke-filled mobile home.

Torrie Frahm, the snake’s owner, just got home from work at 2:30 a.m. when she noticed her mobile home in the 1300 block of North Arthur Birch Drive was filled with smoke. She called 911 immediately.

Deputies Calvin Zirkle and Douglas Hayden were the first to arrive on scene. They entered the mobile home with Frahm to search for the snake.

“They grabbed the handheld fire extinguisher and started spraying near the aquarium,” Frahm told the Daily Journal. “My snake jumped right out of the aquarium. I grabbed him and brought him outside to get some air. I was afraid he wasn’t going to make it.”

Frahm’s tarantula also survived.

Deputy Chief Jim Keaner, of the Bourbonnais Fire Protection District, told the Daily Journal the snake was in an aquarium with a heat lamp. Frahm said the short-lived fire started because the heat lamp’s cord snapped.

Frahm has had her snake, whose name is Eragon, for six years. She hopes Eragon’s rescue will make others less afraid of snakes.

“It was kind of crazy,” she said. “I totally wasn’t expecting something like this to happen. The cops were super cool. They weren’t afraid of the snake, even when he snapped.”

Frahm’s mobile home sustained a few floor burns. She is still able to live in the home and bought Eragon a new aquarium Thursday afternoon.

As the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office pointed out on their Facebook page, unusual calls are part of the job.

“It’s another day on the road,” said Chief Deputy Ken McCabe, of the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office. “You just never know. That is the neat thing about this business. You do what it takes to get the job done. Fortunately, Deputy Hayden and Deputy Zirkle are not afraid of snakes.”