Fire investigators determine cause of Saturdays blaze at Chester Zoo
The cause of the devastating blaze at Chester Zoo’s Monsoon Forest has been determined say fire investigators.
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service say the cause of the fire in on Saturday 15 December was as an accidental fire caused by an electrical fault.
Area manager at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Lee Shears said:
“This was a large and complex operation involving more than 80 firefighters from Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales Fire and Rescue Services.
“Firefighters and zoo staff worked closely together in an incredibly challenging situation to evacuate the building and rescue as many animals as possible.
“The professionalism and expertise of the staff at the zoo meant that many precious species were saved.”
Jamie Christon, Chester Zoo’s Chief Operating Officer, added:
“We’re grateful that the Fire and Rescue Service has been able to conclude its investigation into the cause of the fire so swiftly and would again like to thank them for their valiant efforts on the day, which helped us to rescue so many animals and minimise the extent of the damage.
“Our efforts now will focus on rebuilding Monsoon Forest so we can return some very special species back to their home and continue our mission to prevent extinction.”
Jamie Christon said Saturday was one of the toughest days in its long history.
The “remarkable efforts” from the zoo team and the emergency services meant the fire was extinguished as quickly as possible and all visitors safely evacuated.
All of the zoo’s mammal species – such as critically endangered Sumatran orangutans, Sulawesi macaques, endangered silvery gibbons and birds such as rhinoceros hornbills were led to safety by staff.
A small number of species we were unable to saved including a number of question mark cockroaches, Amano shrimps, betta hendra fish, cinnamon frogs, tentacled snakes and birds such as grosbeak starlings.
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