Sixteen firefighters were called out as a blaze ripped through a flat in Elgin on Sunday killing a collection of pet snakes.
Police are now trying to establish the cause of the fire that broke out in the City’s Morriston Road in the early hours.
Breathing apparatus was used alongside thermal imaging cameras as crews battled the fire with an ambulance crew also called to the scene. That was not needed, however, with police confirming that there was no injuries from the fire.
Fire crews from Lossiemouth and Elgin were called at around 1.20am to tackle the fire at a home understood to belong to a couple named locally as Callum Gilchrist and Sieann Smith, neither of whom were thought to have been at home at the time.
A second flat was thought to have been damaged with the fire described by a senior fire officer as being “well alight” by the time they arrived.
“The flat itself was downstairs but all people were accounted for although some animals perished,” a fire service spokesman said.
He added: “There will be a joint investigation of the circumstances regarding the cause of the fire.”
Local reports indicated that there was some early concern that people were in the flat at the time of the fire, with neighbours saying that they were aware the occupants were also believed to have kept around 40 pet reptiles.
One neighbour said: “I felt sorry for the chap up the stairs because he had only been in the flat for six months. The ground floor of these council houses are concrete, but the rest is plasterboard all through – it’s just a tinderbox.”
Police are appealing for witnesses who may have vital information on the cause of the fire to call them on 101.