COTTAGEVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – A small yard fire spread to the Bee City Zoo property in Cottageville on Sunday, but officials say no animals were injured.
According to Colleton County Fire Rescue, crews were initially dispatched to a yard fire on Holly Ridge Lane just before 4:30 p.m., but while crews were en route, 911 received additional reports that the flames had spread to a building on the adjacent property.
Crews arrived to find the small yard fire had spread to the Bee City Zoo property where it destroyed a wooden fence, burned under two shipping containers that were attached to the building, and burned siding and side doors on the kitchen and honey processing facility.
Products inside the storage containers were also in fire when firefighters arrived, and the gift shop, kitchen, restaurant, and honey processing facility were filled with smoke.
Firefighters say they quickly deployed multiple handlines to combat the fire and protect the animals at the property. They say the fire burned within ten feet of the tiger cage.
No animals were injured during the incident.
Fire-Rescue crews had the fire under control within 20 minutes but stayed on-scene for three and a half hours performing overhaul and helping to remove burned products and supplies from one of the storage containers.
The main building received damage to the north side of the building and the facility received smoke damage throughout the structure.
A Forestry Commission Ranger also responded to the fire and will handle the investigation.