By Marie DeFreitas
A North Carolina family found a surprise in their oven on Monday night while they attempted to make dinner. Amber Helm’s husband Robert went to preheat their oven and put in a frozen pizza.
Not long after this the oven started smoking and smelling awful, the Helms said. This was when they noticed a snake was in their oven.
“The oven started smoking and I told my boys ‘back up’ so I can make sure a fire or anything didn’t happen,” Amber Helm told WRAL. “I looked closely and was like ‘Oh my God! That’s a friggin’ snake.'”
Helm said she used the oven on Christmas day to cook a ham and it was snake free at that time. The Helms also added that they never store anything in their oven so they didn’t think to check inside beforehand.
“The oven was dark and the snake was likely dead by then from the preheat,” she told CNN.
“It got in via the holes at the bottom that allow for airflow,” Amber Helm said. “We aren’t certain yet how it got into the house but assume through our crawl space.”
The Helms have two small boys, 1 year old and a 3 year old. Amber Helm assured WRAL that the family did not eat the pizza after the incident. Helm took the boys out to eat while Robert dealt with the snake.
“I immediately got them out of the house and took them to Applebee’s while my husband stayed home and got rid of the snake and a started to air out the house and clean the oven,” Helm said, according to CNN.
“I was queasy and it was creepy,” Robert Helm told WRAL. “There’s nothing good about finding a smokey snake in your oven.” The couple was not sure what type of snake it was and didn’t call anyone about it since it was already dead.
The Helms just moved into their home last January. They said the neighbors across the street own a horse farm, but told them they never had any issues like this before.
The family has not used the oven since the incident. “Robert Helm told WRAL: “It’s in double-, triple-cleaning mode. I cleaned it through a cycle last night. It’s soaking now. The grill grates have been pulled.“
“I have two little boys so I’m just so concerned,” Amber Helm said. “Every time I see a shadow I’m like freaking out.”
A local animal expert company is coming by their home next week to make sure their future is snake free, the Helms told WRAL.
“I’m not happy about the way that the snake died,” Amber Helm said. “That’s a sad way to go for any living thing.”