Police told Cleveland 19 that there had been “two explosions” inside the barn, where many of the park’s animals were housed, after the fire broke out.
A statement from the African Safari Wildlife Park on Facebook detailed how staff were “devastated by the loss of animals housed in a barn destroyed by fire that was discovered early Thanksgiving evening.”
The statement continued: "We are grateful that our staff is safe and no one was injured, but the loss of the wildlife that we care for every day is tragic for our team members who love these animals.
“We are still assessing the loss of wildlife that was housed in the barn for overnight care and security. Park staff members are on the scene with firefighters and official responders.
“An investigation is underway into the cause of the fire. The animals lost in this tragedy were part of our African Safari family, and the Park will be closed on Friday as we mourn their loss and care for the other animals living on the 100-acre Park.”
Local man Aaron DiBucci captured this footage, which shows giraffes running as the barn burns down behind them. Posting the footage to Facebook, DiBucci wrote that the scene was “absolutely horrific.” Credit: Aaron DiBucci via Storyful