WESTPORT, Conn. -- Numerous animals were rescued after a fire broke out in the workroom of Animal Hall at Earthplace in Westport Friday morning.
Earthplace said that it will still conduct school vacation programs Friday, but it will be closed to the general public.
Westport firefighters were dispatched to the building on Woodside Lane after a fire alarm went off at 5:55 a.m. Friday. Two engines, the truck company and the shift commander were on the initial dispatch. When the companies arrived at the locked gates, they walked up to the building to investigate the cause of the alarm, and found smoke coming from a room on the first floor at the rear of the building, fire officials said.
The incident was upgraded to a working fire, and two additional Westport engines arrived on the scene. Crews from Engine 2, Engine 4 and Truck 1 worked together to deploy a 500-foot attack line, force entry into the room and extinguish the fire. The fire was initially held in check with a water can, which kept it from extending while the hose line was stretched, fire officials said.
Additional arriving companies assisted with the ventilation and checked for extension. The fire damage was limited to the room of origin in Animal Hall and an adjoining room. Fire officials said that numerous animals were rescued from the fire room and adjoining rooms and relocated to a safe area.
Norwalk and Fairfield fire departments provided mutual aid as all Westport Fire Department resources were at the scene. Eversource responded to the scene, as well as the Westport Fire Marshal's office to investigate the cause of the fire. The last fire unit cleared at 8:46 a.m.
"With the exception of Treenut our beloved grey tree frog, our animal friends are all safe and sound. We are giving them all an extra dose of love this morning," Earthplace said in a post on its Facebook page. "Many, many thanks to Town of Westport Fire Department for their response. We are always grateful for their service."