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3-Alarm Fire Kills Animals At Burlington County Zoo

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J.(CBS) - A fast moving fire Sunday evening left several animals dead at the Animal Kingdom Zoo in Burlington County, New Jersey.

The three-alarm fire broke out at about 8:20 p.m. Sunday at the zoo located in the 1800 block of Jacksonville-Jobstown Road in Springfield Township.

Authorities say an adult female giraffe, puppies and several birds were among the animals killed in the blaze. A veterinarian was called to the scene to assist with the animals.

"There were quite a few animals that they worked on right out here. The ambulance crews tended to them, gave them oxygen," Robert Bercy of the Jacksonville Fire Company explained.

Firefighters had a difficult time battling the blaze because there were no fire hydrants near the fire scene. Water from a nearby creek had to be trucked in and used.

"The saying is 'you want no loss of human life' and secondarily you don't wanna lose any of the animals," Bordentown Mayor Denis McDaniel said.

The owner of the zoo, Burton Sipp, believes a furnace that was used for the giraffes may have exploded.

(Credit: Tom Sahol)
injured giraffe
Crews rescue injured giraffe at Animal Kingdom in Burlington County. (Credit: Tom Sahol)
(Credit: Tom Sahol)
(Credit: Tom Sahol)
(Credit: Tom Sahol)
(Credit: Tom Sahol)

This is the second time the zoo has had a fire this year. In April 2011, a fire claimed the life of the zoo's female former owner at her home, which is located on the property of the zoo.

The exact cause of this fire is under investigation.

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