200 Reptiles Rescued From Blaze



200 reptiles rescued from blaze
6th November 2018

By Sandra Pearce

A major fire has destroyed four buildings in Nottingham, but miraculously left a reptile retailer relatively unscathed as winds blew the flames away from the store.

The fire broke out at about 5.30pm on Sunday, November 4, and staff and friends worked frantically to move more than 200 animals, including bearded dragons, geckos, tortoises, frogs and snakes, to safety while flames engulfed neighbouring units.

One of the evacuees was a giant Argentine tegu lizard named Onyx, who was pushed out using a shopping trolley!

Tim Zinsaz owns the Internet Reptile and said his staff and members of the community joined in to move the animals to his second shop about four miles away. It took about four car loads to move all the animals to safety.

His shop sustained only minor damage to the rear while neighbouring businesses were razed to the ground.

He told Nottinghamshire Live: “It’s been so worrying and concerning but a lot of adrenaline has kicked in. We managed to get all the animals to safety.

“We have transferred to an empty store in Carlton which has heated accommodation for them too. We were hoping to open the Carlton store before Christmas.

“I was on the scene very quickly after the fire broke out and there was a threat it could spread to our store. We knew we had to get them away from the fire in case it spread.

“We feel very lucky that there was only slight damage to the back of our store. Other businesses like the bed shop have been ruined. Firefighters were terrific helping us and we were lucky that the wind blew the fire away from us.”


In the aftermath, Internet Reptile set up a JustGiving page to raise £1,000 to help its neighbours.

On the page, it said the fire had ‘completely destroyed many businesses and damaged plenty others’. “Sadly many people have lost their livelihoods tonight in this devastating fire.

“Hopefully even if we can raise a small amount it can help the business affected try and get back on their feet. So please...dig deep into your pockets and give generously.”

The JustGiving page can be found at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/cattlemarketdisaster?fbclid=IwAR32OB22LY6YfvWaSFAKuv56Rr2oTm3WYvtGTK-tvtVkrZZgciUS8uO2AdI


Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service said 85 firefighters tackled the blaze which was ‘a real challenge’, with densely packed buildings, gas cylinders and a limited water supply.

Incident commander Bryn Coleman said: “The buildings are close together and it was a dynamic situation. Because of the amount of material involved in the buildings, we had problems with the water pressure from the fire hydrants and had to use a high pressure pump to get water from the canal.”

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.