Call it destiny. Call it fate. Call it a strange coincidence. But whatever you call it, Jake the snake now rests in peace.

The 4-foot-long boa constrictor that narrowly escaped death in a house fire at 1107 S. Main St. in January 2007, wasn’t so lucky this time around.

Jake was just one of two exotic snakes that perished Friday morning when the two-story home they were living in at 1108 S. Main St. — located directly across the street from last year’s blaze — caught fire.

According to next-door neighbor Debra Borah, the snakes were originally owned by Jeremy Ebbert. But after the two-story duplex that he was living in caught fire last year, the boa constrictor and python were relocated across the street to a second residence. Both residences were owned by Ray Ebbert.

Borah said she and her husband, Marvin, were awakened around 3:30 a.m. by neighbors Kris Ebbert and her daughter.

“We heard banging on the door and then the sound of sirens,” Borah said. “When we opened the door, they were standing there in their pajamas waiting to come in.”

According to Meadville Central Fire Department Chief Tunie Hedrick, Kris Ebbert and her daughter were the only two people occupying the two-story home.

“The mother and daughter were sleeping at the time the fire broke out,” Hedrick said. “They were awakened by the sounds of the dogs barking and glass breaking.”

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 3:29. Joining firefighters from Meadville Central were West Mead 1, West Mead 2 and volunteers from East Mead and Vernon Central fire departments.

“Marvin and I, and Kris and her daughter, stood on the front porch and watched firefighters extinguish the flames,” Borah said. “We were watching it closely to make sure the fire didn’t jump over here — our homes are so close together.”

When firefighters had extinguished the flames and then entered the residence the two snakes were found in their tank in the dining area of the first-floor living area. Both were dead, Hedrick said.

The Ebberts also had several dogs and cats. So far they haven’t been able to locate their two cats. “They weren’t found in the house, so I can only assume they ran out,” the chief said.

With the assistance of a Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal, Hedrick said the cause of the fire was ruled accidental due to a malfunctioning heater.

Firefighters had the blaze under control shortly after 4 a.m., and by 5:45 all crews had cleared the scene.

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