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Lack of fire hydrants delayed firefighters from controlling petting zoo fire that killed 75 animals

Stock photo of burning barn

Firefighters who arrived on scene to battle a barn fire at a petting zoo in Alabama were delayed from controlling the fire because they did not have a hydrant close enough for their hoses to reach, witnesses say.

“They had to call in a tanker truck and by that time it was too far gone.”

More than 75 animals were burned alive yesterday at the Noccalula Falls Park petting zoo in Gadsden, AL.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway and an official cause has not been released, according to a press release. However, several commenters speculated the fire may have been caused by reptile heat lamps.

“I was there Christmas and seen some very questionable things going on to keep the animals warm,” one commenter said. “Heat lamps very close to hay, extension cords running very close to water.”

The commenter said he reported some of the issues he saw to petting zoo employees. Other commenters complained about the lack of a sprinkler system in the petting zoo barn. There are also concerns as to why the fire was reported by a passer-by rather than by park security.

“Noccalula Falls does not need animals ever again,” one petting zoo visitor said. “There should have been some precautions in case of fire put into place when they rebuilt this part of the park for ticket sales … this is heartbreaking.”


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