ROCK SPRINGS — At approximately 12:03 am on Tuesday, March 14, the Rock Springs Fire Department was dispatched to 501 Center Street – Zoobeck’s – for a report of a possible structure fire.
Initial reports from Rock Springs Police Officers on the scene described heavy smoke coming from the 2nd story windows. Rock Springs Fire Department initially responded with two pumpers and a ladder truck, later requesting additional manpower and backfill to maintain response capabilities.
The fire was initially in the basement of the structure and extended to the 2nd story. Crews attempted to access the seat of the fire in the basement; however, intense heat and smoke compromised the ability to continue suppression efforts via an interior attack.
Upon reports of significant involvement of the structural components of the building, the Incident Commander ordered and “all-out” for crews on scene and continued suppression from the exterior of the building.
The fire was confined to the middle section of the building. Efforts to extinguish the fire were frustrated by the collapse of the main floor, which created hidden pockets of fire that were difficult to reach with attack streams. The fire was declared controlled at 4:12 am.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and no information as to origin is available at this time. Although the majority of the animals and fish succumbed to the fire, firefighters were able to rescue most of the reptiles after the fire was controlled. The loss is estimated at over $1 million in property and inventory.