Thirty-three animals and birds perished in an overnight fire Monday at a Florida wildlife sanctuary.
Several snakes, turtles and exotic birds, four giant tortoises and three pet dogs died in the 1:30 a.m. house fire at the Second Chance Wildlife Sanctuary in Orange County, home to about 240 animals, according to reports.
Owner Jim Bronzo escaped the fire after screaming peacocks on the property woke him up, FOX35 Orlando reported.
“I looked out the window and saw the orange flames...I had no clothes on. I had no phone,” Bronzo told the Orlando Sentinel. “I screamed out, ‘Somebody help me, somebody please help me.’ I felt so helpless.”
Bronzo rescued a dog name Yoshi as he fled.
Bronzo usually shares his bed with Yoshi, the three dogs who died, and a small raccoon named Camille, the paper reported.
He feared Camille died but the critter turned up eight hours later, fur singed but safe, according to the paper.
Bronzo appeared last week at an Orange County Commission meeting to complain about a neighbor with whom he has been squabbling, the Sentinel reported. The neighbor, Brian Ramphal, waved firefighters onto his property Monday to fight the blaze.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.