This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A firefighter climbed a tree more than five stories tall Tuesday to rescue a pet iguana.

Salt Lake City firefighters got a call about 8:48 a.m. about an iguana that had crawled out of the fifth-story window of a downtown apartment at 125 S. 300 East, across a balcony and into a tree. The lizard climbed into limbs higher than the apartment building and out of reach of its owner, said Fire Department spokesman Jasen Asay.

"We aren't always able to respond to animal rescues, but when we can, we're excited to do it. Pets are part of people's families, and when you have one that's missing or stuck in a tree, it's a nerve-wracking experience," Asay said.

A firefighter climbed the tree until he was close enough to reach the branch on which the iguana sat and bend the branch toward another firefighter who was on top of the apartment building, Asay said.

The firefighter on the roof reached out and grabbed the iguana, which didn't bite or scratch the way frightened cats typically do, Asay said.

The lizard, about 12 to 18 inches long and weighing a few pounds, was returned to its owner.

mmcfall@sltrib.comTwitter: @mikeypanda

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