A treasured piece of Oak Glen's rich history burned to the ground today, March 14. There were flames reported on the roof of Mountain Town Reptile Museum in Oak Tree Village, Oak Glen, sometime after 11 a.m. Thursday morning. Local businesses, including the owners of Oak Tree Village, were close by after the flames erupted.
Mountain Town Reptile Museum was home to many animals including exotic birds, Iguanas, tortoises, rabbits and more.
"It's a terrible loss," said Ken Azzato, who was one of the first on the scene to rescue animals.
Azzato said he rescued many animals from inside the museum but sadly, other animals perished in the fire. The count is not yet known.
Multiple fire and police agencies from surrounding areas including Cal Fire Riverside, Redlands Fire, San Bernardino Fire, U.S. Forest Service and San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, Yucaipa Police Department responded to the fire and surrounded the building.
According to a Cal Fire Public Information Officer, firefighters responded to the fire shortly before noon. When firefighters arrived on scene there was already heavy smoke and fire at the structure.
As of 1:25 p.m., the fire is contained and firefighters are currently working on mop up, said Cal Fire's PIO.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Look for the full story in the News Mirror, March 22.