SEATTLE – On Thursday at approximately 3:15 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to a fire in the Night Exhibit at Woodland Park Zoo.
First arriving units laid hose lines to the interior of the exhibit and to the main floor, quickly extinguishing the fire where it had initiated. Firefighters were also able to successfully contain and extinguish all extended flames in the attic by 4:30 p.m.
The Seattle Fire Department worked closely with Zoo employees to evacuate animals and coordinate a team that moved live animals during the process. Upon extinguishing the fire, firefighters checked for hot spots and were on scene until 7:30 a.m. on Friday to monitor the area. However, due to structural instability and partial collapse, Fire Investigators were unable to determine a specific cause.
Woodland Park Zoo spokeswoman Gigi Allianic told The Associated Press that the building formerly housed nocturnal animals.
The zoo initially said no animals were hurt in the fire. However, officials later learned six small turtles were inside the building's hibernation chamber during the fire, and their condition is unknown.
Two firefighters were injured in the incident, one with minor burns and the other from possible contact with an electrical panel while firefighting. Both were transported to Harborview Medical Center where they were treated and released.
The damage of this incident is estimated at $1.5 million dollars.