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HELSINKI — An improvised method of getting rid of a snake in a garden by spraying it with gasoline kicked off a chain reaction that ended up with a house on fire in southern Finland.

Finnish public broadcaster YLE reported Tuesday that some of the flammable liquid spread by a homeowner in Siuntio, west of Helsinki, landed on a nearby lawnmower that was warm enough to ignite a fire.

Flames spread quickly Monday in extremely dry conditions to the wooden house, reaching the exterior wall and attic.

The broadcaster said firefighters extinguished the blaze but damages may reach $17,000, although the home's interior was not affected.

YLE didn't identify the reptile, but venomous adders, smooth snakes and grass snakes are the most common types of snakes in Finland.

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