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Animals die in fire at Lee County nature center

Posted December 1, 2014

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— A fire Saturday at the animal observation building at San Lee Park claimed the lives of five animals housed there and did significant damage to the building, according to Lee County Emergency Services personnel.

Firefighters were called to the park, on Pumping Station Road in Sanford, just before 8 a.m. Saturday to find flames shooting from the back of the building.

Park workers tried to remove all the animals, but five died of smoke inhalation. Eight snakes and 16 turtles were uninjured, and no people were hurt in the fire, the park director said.

The county-owned building was damaged but is not a total loss. 

Investigators have yet to determine what started the fire, but they don't have reason to believe it was set, an emergency services spokesman said.

The San Lee Nature Center houses small mammals, such as squirrels, reptiles, fish and some birds of prey and fosters orphaned and found wildlife.


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  • Nan Toppin Dec 1, 2014
    user avatar

    agree...very sad.

  • fanoflogic Dec 1, 2014

    How sad!