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Blaze at London Zoo as 70 firefighters tackle flames
24 December 2017, 01:10 | Marta Robbins
London Zoo Fire: More Than 70 Firefighters Tackle Blaze At Cafe And Shop
Ten-year-old Misha the aardvark, one of the zoo's best-loved animals, perished in the fire and four of the meerkats were unaccounted for and are also presumed to have died. The fire has caused damage in a café and shop, which is near the penguin pool and camel enclosure.
The zoo has confirmed it will reopen on Christmas Eve after earlier saying the attraction would be closed "until further notice".
"Approximately three quarters of an adventure cafe and shop and half of the roof is now alight".
"The London Fire Brigade were on the scene within minutes and the fire was brought under control by 9.16am".
Dominic Jermey, director general for ZSL, said some staff were treated for smoke inhalation and shock. "They worked incredibly hard in arduous conditions to bring it under control as quickly as possible and to stop it from spreading to neighbouring animal enclosures", Station Manager David George said. "We will update as quickly as the situation allows".
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"It's too soon to speculate on the cause of the fire but we will be working very closely with fire investigators over the coming days and weeks to ascertain the cause".
The zoo said it was "dealing with an incident on site".
"We will aim to re-open when we know it is safe to do so for animals, staff and visitors".
10 fire engines were rushed to the zoo after a call came in shortly before 6.10am, Fire brigade chiefs said, with crews from Kentish Town, Paddington, Euston and West Hampstead called out.
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Stormy Weekend Ahead: Snow Likely Christmas Day
Locally we will see a small shower chance, breezy conditions and highs in the lower 60s along with mostly cloudy skies. As of now, a light snow still looks possible, but the key word is light! Tuesday - Partly sunny, with a high near 16.