RESTON, Va. — Two giraffes died when a fire broke out at a zoo outside of Washington, D.C. on Monday.
Fairfax County firefighters responded to the blaze at Roer's Zoofari in Reston, Virginia, at about 5:30 p.m. As crews arrived, they spotted flames coming from a two-story barn on the property.
Units are currently on the scene of a barn fire in the 1200 block of Hunter Mill Rd in Reston.
First arriving reported fire from the roof and on two floors of a 2-story barn. Unknown at this time if any animals in barn. Hunter Mill Rd/Cobble Mill Rd closed. Avoid area. #FCFRD pic.twitter.com/HjjvvP4bTa
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) March 8, 2021
Once the fire department was able to get the fire under control, officials say they found the two deceased giraffes. It’s unclear at this time how they died.
UPDATE: 1200 block of Hunter Mill Road: The fire is under control. Tragically, two giraffes were found deceased. No other animals injured, and all are being attended to by zoo staff. No reported firefighter injuries at this time. Fire investigators on scene. #FCFRD pic.twitter.com/uT1ND7lnvD
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) March 9, 2021
The zoo says one of the giraffes was named Waffles and the other was a new companion that had yet to be named.
According to the zoo, about 20 other animals were being housed in the same area, but firefighters were able to rescue and care for them.
“We are grateful that no staff members or other Zoofari animals were injured or lost,” wrote the zoo in a Facebook statement. “Grief counselors are being made available for staff, who are devastated by this tragedy and who cared deeply for these members of the Zoofari family.”
The fire department is investigating to determine a cause of the blaze.
As a result of the fire, Zoofari says it will be closed until further notice.