Reptile house burns to the ground, killing over 200 animals

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, N.J. (AP)– More than 200 animals died Thursday when a zoo’s reptile house burned to the ground. The cause of the fire was believed to be an electrical problem, authorities said.
“They’re all gone,” said Sharon Seyler, aspokeswoman for the Cape May County Park & Zoo.
The one-story wood frame building, which housed lizards, snakes, turtles, tortoises and insects, was reduced to a pile of charred rubble by the fire, which was discovered at about 6:50 a.m., according to Cape May County Sheriff J.T. Plousis.
“It was really beyond help,” said Plousis, one of the first people on the scene. “There’s a lot of plastic in that building because the reptiles are kept in plastic cases. Literally, the building melted.”