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11:26 PM Mon, Dec. 10th

1 wallaby dies, 1 injured in Heritage Park Zoo fire

Wallaby pen caught fire from heat lamp designed to keep animals warm

Members of the Prescott Fire Department responded to a structure fire at the Heritage Park Zoo in Prescott on Monday night. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

Members of the Prescott Fire Department responded to a structure fire at the Heritage Park Zoo in Prescott on Monday night. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated from a previous version.

Firefighters from the Prescott Fire Department responded to a structure fire call from the Heritage Park Zoo on Willow Creek Road in Prescott on Monday night.

One wallaby died from the blaze and one was transported for its injuries to a veterinarian, according to Prescott Fire Battalion Chief Dan Morgan.

“I had some pretty wild thoughts heading out to this call,” Morgan said, adding he was unsure what to expect from a fire at a zoo, with potentially several animals roaming the park freely due to escaping the fire.

“I wasn’t sure if there was a cougar, or a bear pen, or what on fire,” Morgan said.

The one-alarm fire was initially called in around 7 p.m. Monday night by zoo staff members who were getting ready to lock up and leave for the night.

Engine 74 was the first to respond, Morgan said, while engine 73, truck 72 also responded. One truck from the Central Arizona Fire & Medical Authority was in route before being cancelled, Morgan said.

One wallaby had yet to be caught by zoo workers when crews began to wrap up after extinguishing flames that were in a 20-foot by 20-foot “shed-like” structure used as a pen.

“He was pretty elusive,” Morgan said, adding the fire was likely started via a heat lamp used on cold winter nights to help keep the animals warm, but was unsure if it was a malfunction of equipment.

Morgan credited all the zoo volunteers for quickly arriving and helping direct firefighters on where to go, and what was the most immediate danger.

“Thankfully they were on hand, they did a great job,” Morgan said.

Brian M. Bergner Jr. is news/sports editor for The Daily Courier of Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and SoundCloud at @TheEditorDesk. Email bbergner@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333, ext. 1106.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Here is the initial news alert sent at 7:24 p.m. by the Courier:

News Alert: Prescott FD responds to Heritage Park Zoo fire

Members of the Prescott Fire Department responded to a structure fire at the Heritage Park Zoo in Prescott on Monday night.

An estimated 30-foot by 30-foot structure caught fire at Heritage Park off Willow Creek Road in Prescott.

A Prescott Fire official said it might have been a warming device in the structure that started the fire, but that has not been confirmed.

The Daily Courier has reached out to authorities in Prescott, but has been unable to get more information.

Watch the Courier and dCourier.com for updates as we further investigate.

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