‘Several’ animals die in fire at South Park reptile rescue

SOUTH PARK, Pa. — Several animals died in a fire at a non-profit reptile rescue in South Park.

The Allegheny County Police Department said the fire was at the Allegheny County Fairgrounds Building 10. The Broughton Volunteer Fire Department calls the fire a two-alarm blaze.

Photos posted by police show heavy smoke coming from the roof of the building, which is rented by Nate’s Reptile Rescue.

An Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson says a deputy on patrol noticed the building on fire and notified dispatchers. Firefighters were able to save “a number of animals” —including turtles and at least one alligator.

The Allegheny County Police Department says there were about 100 animals inside the building at the time of the fire, and some of them died. It’s not known how many animals were rescued and how many died.

“They did enter the building and began rescuing as many of the animals inside as possible,” said Asst. Chief of Allegheny County Emergency Services Steve Imbarlina.

Dozens of alligators, snakes, tortoises and turtles were saved. Volunteers believe more animals survived the fire than died.

“The rescue does house over 100 animals but we don’t have an exact count on how many were rescued and how many may have unfortunately perished,” Imbarlina said.

After the fire was out, rescue volunteers helped to get the rest of the surviving reptiles out of the building.

The rescue owner’s mother told Channel 11 that her son Nate was devastated and too upset to do an interview. Friends were seen hugging and comforting him.

The reptiles have all been brought to other rescues for now.

No people were hurt in the fire.

The fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

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