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Fire kills 18 birds and other animals at Oak Glen reptile museum

Flames killed 18 birds and other animals and destroyed the Mountain Town Reptile Museum in Oak Glen on Thursday, March 14.

Firefighters arrived at about 11:30 a.m. at 38480 Oak Glen Road in Oak Tree Village to find heavy smoke and flames in the A-frame building, Cal Fire’s San Bernardino Unit said.

Fourteen critters — six parrots, six water turtles and two geese — were rescued, Cal Fire spokeswoman Cathey Mattingly said. The peacocks and other animals in the museum’s petting zoo were not harmed, she said.

The 14-acre site has twice-daily animal and reptile shows, and houses animals, birds and reptiles including parrots, macaws, raccoons, rabbits, pythons, boas, lizards, hissing cockroaches and tarantulas.

“We especially want to help those children who are emotionally and physically challenged,” the museum’s website says. “We strive to specifically help them to become more aware of conservation, reptiles, farm life and how humans interact with reptiles.”

One firefighter was hospitalized briefly for treatment of burns.

Firefighters from San Bernardino County, Cal Fire/Riverside County, Redlands and the U.S. Forest Service also responded.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

#OakGlenIncident *update 4* According to the owners of Mountain Town reptile museum, 14 of the 32 animals were rescued. Here are two geese and 6 water turtles that are safe. 6 parrots were also rescued. pic.twitter.com/FT8X6wCDvR

— CAL FIRE BDU (@CALFIREBDU) March 14, 2019

Please avoid the Oak Glen area as fire crews are attending to a structure fire. The fire is at “Mountain Town” Animal museum at this time. We will update as soon as we can. pic.twitter.com/ZJA2UL0C8c

— Yucaipa Police (@YucaipaPD) March 14, 2019

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