Fire destroys reptile house at Missouri petting zoo

Associated Press

VALLEY MINES, Mo. (AP) — A fire has destroyed a reptile house at an eastern Missouri petting zoo, killing all 11 animals inside.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports  that the fire was reported around 5 a.m. Friday at the Critter Lane Petting Zoo in Valles Mines.

Big River Fire Department Assistant Chief Allen Stegall said the structure was almost completely gone when crews arrived.

He said the neighboring bird house also suffered some smoke and water damage, but none of the animals inside it were injured as far as he knew.

Stegall said the cause of the fire is still unknown.

The petting zoo said in a Facebook post  that it was "devastated by the loss of animals." It said it had a lot of work ahead before opening to the public for the year on Saturday.