WESTPORT, Conn. — The fire at Earthplace in Westport last week that started in a pile of laundry was ruled an accident, according to the Westport News.
The animals were all safe after the fire during the early morning of Friday, April 14. The blaze was sparked by the spontaneous combustion of a linseed oil-soaked cloth that was a bin of laundry, the Westport News said.
Fire Marshal Edward Zygmant confirmed the fire in the Animal Hall prep room was an accident, the News said.
Earthplace thanked the community for its support and asked for help.
"We are grateful to the Westport Fire Department for their immediate and professional help, which saved the lives of our animal friends," Earthplace said in a Facebook post.
"Many of you have asked how you can help, and here’s how," Earthplace said. It is seeking donations of:
- Clean towels and pillow cases for the cages and enclosures, as well as ceramic and metal bowls for feeding.
- Supplies from its Amazon wish list to replenish.
- Donations for the Animal Hall, by cash or credit card, can be made online .
Westport firefighters were dispatched to the building on Woodside Lane after a fire alarm went off at 5:55 a.m. Friday.
When firefighters arrived at the locked gates, they walked up to the building to investigate and found smoke coming from a room on the first floor at the rear of the building.
Firefighters tackled the blaze, which was limited to the back room of the Animal Hall and an adjoining room. Both rooms sustained smoke and fire damage.
Numerous animals were rescued and relocated to a safe area, fire officials said.
"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," Earthplace said in a post Friday on its Facebook page. "Many, many thanks to Town of Westport Fire Department for their response. We are always grateful for their service."
Earthplace said all staff procedures had been followed, including closing the fire doors the night before, so the fire was contained to the two back rooms off Animal Hall.
"Thanks to those actions and the very quick response from the Westport Fire Department, the fire did not spread, and the smoke damage was minimal," Earthplace said.
Earthplace, The Nature Discovery Center is a natural history museum, nature center and wildlife sanctuary.
Click here to help Earthplace by making a donation from the Amazon wish list.
Click here to read the story at the Westport News.