Millville, NJ - An early afternoon fire destroyed two rooms in a one story house at 105 Cedar Street.
The occupant, Jeff Bernard was asleep at the time of the fire. Mr. Bernard woke to a house full of smoke and fire but managed to open the back door to allow his four dogs to escape.
He then ran back through the house exiting the front door where he collapsed shortly after leaving the burning building.
Mr. Bernard was transported by medivac helicopter to Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Pennsylvania where he is listed in stable but critical condition in the intensive care unit.
The fire alarm was dispatched by Cumberland County Communications center who was notified of the fire by off duty Firefighter Patrick Wettstein and his wife Heather who happened to be driving by at the time of the fire.
Once the flames were extinguished a search began for several pets belonging to Mr. Bernard. Greg Smith (Mr. Bernard's cousin) notified Millville Fire Department that there were several pet snakes including a python still in the house.
The search proved successful and the snakes appeared to be in good health in spite of enduring the heavy smoke and fire conditions.