logo



Fire at Brights Zoo destroys barn and kills birds, zoo director is looking to the future.

Hannah Swayze • Updated Dec 23, 2017 at 12:34 AM

Several exotic birds were killed in a large barn fire at Brights Zoo in Limestone early Friday morning.

Zoo director David Bright said the fire began around 3 a.m. By 3:30 a.m. the Limestone, Sulphur Springs and Nolichucky fire departments had all responded to the fire.

"Of course their first task was to make sure the fire didn't spread to our young giraffe's stall. And so, they did a great job of doing that," said Bright.

Bright said the barn was engulfed in flames when they arrived and there were firefighters on the scene until about 8:30 a.m.

Other animals housed in the barn had outside access and were rescued. These animals included more birds and some kangaroos who were able to stay away from the flames.

Bright said that despite the fire, all the animals who had to be moved are fine.

"Everybody seems calm right now. The kangaroos, we've moved into a new area. They've adapted well and quickly to that. The birds that were in that yard have all been moved to different areas," Bright said.

The cause of the fire at this family-owned zoo is yet to be determined.

Bright believes it had to be an electrical fire, but does not know how it would have started.

"There's nothing new in that barn that's changed. The same electrical stuff has been there for years and years,” said Bright. “So that's our focus now is trying to find out what could have started that. Also, how we move forward to make sure this doesn't happen." 

Now that everything is under control and settled, Bright said that they will wait for the insurance agency to come out and assess the barn then they will begin the clean-up after Christmas.

Bright said that himself, the owners and staff are planning to sit down, possibly as early as this weekend, to discuss rebuilding. They are hoping to come up with a plan by next week.

"Right now, our focus is on, 'How do we fix this? How do we continue to move forward?'" said Bright.

For more updates from the owners and Bright, follow the Brights Zoo page on Facebook.

Johnson City Press Videos