A fire at the Urban Safari Rescue Society in South Surrey, B.C. has resulted in the deaths of approximately 60 animals and significant damage to the rescue’s front room.
The fire started in the early hours of Saturday and is believed to have been caused by a power surge after a temporary power outage.
The front room, which housed a variety of smaller animals, saw heavy smoke and moderate fire damage.
According to Pamala-Rose Combs, a member of the rescue society’s board of directors, staff are still assessing the loss of life and damages, but they have confirmed the loss of many reptiles, mammals, birds, and fish.
“We are still figuring out who is alive. We are dealing with secondary loss as well due to damage to their lungs and respiratory systems,” said Combs.
Two veterinarians will be visiting in the coming days to help assess and treat the remaining animals, who have been moved to a different part of the rescue or temporarily fostered out.
The rescue, which was home to roughly 350 animals, is facing the costs of rebuilding and replacing damaged items, including tanks, furniture, and power bars.
“We had 18 firefighters respond. They made entry to the building and found moderate smoke,” Surrey Fire Assistant Chief Greg McRobbie said. “Crews stayed on scene and helped move some of the cages outside.”
They are hoping to hear from the insurance adjuster in the next few days. In the meantime, volunteers are needed to help clean the cages and rebuild after the fire.