Photo: WTOL.COM
Photo: WTOL.COM

3 giraffes among 10 animals to perish in fire at African Safari Wildlife Park

Danbury Twp. Police Officer Carolyn Demore told cleveland19.com there were two explosions in a barn where the fire broke out. According to Demore, the general manager/animal keeper was on the premises when the flames started. 

Demore confirmed three bongos, three giraffes, three red river hogs and one springbok were in the barn when it caught fire and are assumed dead. 

WTOL.com is reporting that at a news conference, Demore said the park's general manager was on the property at the time of fire and believes that he lives on the property. 

There were no injuries reported. 

The park was not open during the time of fire. 

The Danbury Twp. Fire Department is leading the investigation and is being assisted by the Port Clinton and Catawba Twp. fire departments.

UPDATE @ 8:50 p.m.: 

An unknown number of animals have perished in the fire at the African Safari Wildlife Park in northern Ohio. 

Park officials said the 100-acre drive-through facility, where patrons can feed animals from their vehicles, will be closed Friday. 

The park's team, in a Facebook post, said it is devastated by the loss of animals housed in a barn destroyed by the fire:

Park officials said they are continuing to assess the loss of wildlife housed in the barn for overnight care and security. 

"Park staff members are on the scene with firefighters and official responders. An investigation is underway into the cause of the fire. 

The animals lost in this tragedy were part of our African Safari family, and the Park will be closed on Friday as we mourn their loss and care for the other animals living on the 100-area Park. 

We deeply appreciate the first responders who worked on the holiday to try and save animals affected by the fire and thank the community for its support during this very difficult time."

INITIAL REPORT

Crews are battling a fire at the African Safari Wildlife Park in northern Ohio where there are unconfirmed reports that animals were inside the building that has gone up in flames.

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The fire at the park in Port Clinton, Ottawa County, was reported just after 6 p.m., according to media reports from several sources, including WTOL.com, a CBS affiliate. 

The news station is reporting that police armed with assault-like guns were positioned to shoot in case animals run away. 

Ottawa County Sheriff Stephen Levorchick told WTOL 11 multiple departments are fighting the fire. 

News Center 7 will update this developing report as we learn more.

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