Victorian warehouse fire causes mass evacuation of over 500 reptiles with fears some may have escaped

Matt Shrivell
The Nightly
Emergency services had to content with managing over 500 reptiles during the fire.
Emergency services had to content with managing over 500 reptiles during the fire. Credit: Supplied.

Fire and rescue responders had a unique evacuation operation on their hands as a warehouse containing over 500 reptiles including snakes, crocodiles and lizards went up in flames overnight.

The Jurassic Jungle Reptile and Aquarium store on Canterbury Road in Kilsyth South was well alight as emergency services arrived after a fire started in the roof.

Jurassic Jungle is said to have housed over 540 animals.

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Wildlife Victoria and paramedics were on hand due to the presence of venomous reptiles.

Fire crews brought the blaze under control in about 75 minutes but some of the reptiles are thought to have died.

CFA assistant chief fire officer David Rankin who was on the scene, said because of the large amount of smoke when crews arrived there were initial concerns some snakes had escaped their enclosures.

One of the snakes for sale via Jurassic Jungle.
One of the snakes for sale via Jurassic Jungle. Credit: Facebook.

‘’Firefighting crews could see there were flames coming from the roof space and they quickly gained access to start combating the fire. A ladder was utilised to gain access to the roof which helped contain the fire,’’ Renkin said.

‘’As a safety measure, none of the firefighters went near the room that contained venomous snakes and we had Ambulance Victoria on the scene if required.

‘’Once the fire had safely been extinguished the owners and wildlife carers started to remove the reptiles and animals. Sadly, some were lost in the fire but many were saved.

‘’No day is ever the same in this job,’’ Renkin added

The reptile store sells a large range of reptiles including carpet pythons, blue tongue lizards, tree frogs and turtles.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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