The London Fire Brigade (LFB) said this morning that 72 firefighters were tackling a blaze at London Zoo, just two nights before Christmas Day.
LFB added that ten fire engines were on the scene, and that approximately three-quarters of an adventure cafe and shop – which is close to an animal petting area – was alight.
The blaze was under control by 9.16am, but LFB said firefighters would stay on the scene "damping down" the fire throughout the morning. London Zoo said that at present, one aardvark was unaccounted for.
"The fire mainly affected the cafe and shop. Part of nearby animal petting area was also affected although at this stage we don't know if any animals were involved," said LFB station manager Clive Robinson, who attended the incident.
"Firefighters worked hard to bring the fire under control as quickly as possible and to stop it from spreading to neighbouring animal enclosures. Crews will remain at the scene throughout the morning damping down any remaining pockets of fire."
The fire at @zsllondonzoo is now under control but crews will remain on the scene throughout the morning damping down the fire which has affected a cafe and a shop https://t.co/VqBLKK6gMj#londonzoopic.twitter.com/DH3wjg3xCO
— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) December 23, 2017
London Zoo said that duty staff that live on site at the zoo were on the scene immediately after the fire broke out, shortly after 6am, and started moving animals to safety. A number of staff were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and shock.
The fire service was called to the incident at 6.08am, and fire crews from Kentish Town, Paddington, Euston, West Hampstead and other surrounding stations attended.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
London Zoo responded to worried Twitter users saying that an "incident" had occurred on site, and that it would update people on the situation as soon as possible. It said the zoo would be closed today until further notice.
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