Firefighter greeted by pet croc after fire in Australia

(File)
(File)

Firefighters in Australia had the surprise of their lives after attending a callout to a house fire where they were greeted by a pet saltwater crocodile.

'Albert' the crocodile's story began 59 years ago in 1958 when a hunter called Jack Haritos caught the four-metre beast at the behest of party guests he was entertaining.

Mr Haritos convinced his wife to let him keep the crocodile, considered one of the most deadly animals in the world, as a pet. He obtained a special permit to do so, making it the only saltwater crocodile kept legally as a pet in Australia.

According to The Telegraph, Mr Haritos died in 1992 and Albert was passed onto his daughter Helen Haritos, whose house was gutted by fire after the clothes iron was left on Thursday.

"It's not quite like my dog, but I do have a particular bond and care for the animal," she said. 

"It's quite easy actually [to look after]. I'd say low maintenance, but treat with respect because they are very dangerous animals."

Firefighter Bill Gleeson said meeting a crocodile at the scene of a fire isn't usual.

"Thankfully the crocodile didn't affect our operations at all," he told ABC News.

"[Albert] is well contained and completely unaffected by fire [and] he seemed quite happy to look at me as I was checking the premises."

Newshub.