Animals killed in Little Ponderosa Zoo blaze

# State

CLINTON, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Animals were killed in a fire at the Little Ponderosa Zoo in Clinton, according to the Anderson County Sheriff's Department.

Crews with the Medford, Briceville, Andersonville, Marlow, and Claxton volunteer fire departments were dispatched to the scene on Granite Road at 12:15 p.m. Monday. The Anderson County Sheriff's Department, EMS, Emergency Management Agency, and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency also responded to help.

Officials are not certain how many animals were killed or hurt in the fire. Zoo employees were able to evacuate some of the animals. Only minor injuries were reported by zoo workers. One firefighter was transported to Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge for a minor injury.

Fire investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire, but believe it was accidental.

The 35-acre hands-on zoo is home to hundreds of animals. Veterinarians were called to the scene.

Little Ponderosa posted a picture of the fire to Facebook that said,

"Our hearts are broken. Please pray for us."

Chief Deputy Mark Lucas with the Anderson County Sheriff's Department submitted the following statement to Local 8 News,

"This is a sad day as the Little Ponderosa has been a part of our community for a long time and the owner, James Cox, has been a close friend for many years. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all at the Little Ponderosa."