TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

More than 300 animals escape injury in Living Treasures fire

WPXI - Firefighters battle an overnight fire at Living Treasures Animal Park in Donegal Township on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>WPXI</em></div>Firefighters battle an overnight fire at Living Treasures Animal Park in Donegal Township on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014.
Sean Stipp | Trib Total Media - Matt Dumbauld, 32, on-site manager at Living Treasures Wild Animal Park, carries a 6-month-old kangaroo named Reagan in a small bag. The bottle-fed kangaroo had to be evacuated from Dumbauld's residence at the Donegal Township park during an overnight fire on Aug. 4, 2014.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Sean Stipp  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>Matt Dumbauld, 32, on-site manager at Living Treasures Wild Animal Park, carries a 6-month-old kangaroo named Reagan in a small bag. The bottle-fed kangaroo had to be evacuated from Dumbauld's residence at the Donegal Township park during an overnight fire on Aug. 4, 2014.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, 12:54 a.m.
 

Matt Dumbauld stood outside the charred remains of his residence at Living Treasures Wild Animal Park in Donegal Township Monday morning, cuddling a 6-month-old kangaroo named Reagan.

The park, its Log Cabin Lodge and Suites, Mountain Horse Saddlery and Gift Shop and Highlands Hall banquet facility all were open Monday, hours after a fire destroyed several buildings.

The kangaroo was one of seven animals, including another baby kangaroo, three dogs and two pot-bellied pigs, who live with Dumbauld, the park manager, and his wife, Fawn.

“Everybody is safe, everything is good. No people, no animals were hurt,” Dumbauld said.

The zoo is home to more than 300 animals, including lions, tigers and bears.

A vacant two-bedroom suite, a storage building full of horse feed for sale and Dumbauld's residence were damaged.

Firefighters from Westmoreland, Fayette and Somerset counties battled the fire, which started about 11:15 p.m. Sunday, Dumbauld said.

“There is a double roof on there that was giving us a bit of difficulty. The fire got in between the roofs to make it a little harder to get to,” said Chief Shawn Kestner of Chestnut Ridge Volunteer Fire Department.

Dumbauld, 32, and his wife, 31, have been on-site park managers for six years.

Park owner Tom Guiher is his wife's father, Dumbauld said.

“I found the fire. My wife and I were watching television and I heard a crackling sound from the bathroom. I saw smoke and went outside and saw the storage room on fire,” Dumbauld said.

He called 911 and helped to kick in a door at one undamaged suite after the occupants failed to open the door.

As a precaution, overnight guests were relocated to a nearby hotel, Dumbauld said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, he said, but appears to have been electrical in nature.

“Thankfully the way the wind and everything blew last night, we didn't have any (smoke) go to the zoo,” Dumbauld said.

Firefighters were at the park until about 4:15 a.m., Dumbauld said.

Guiher founded the park's Moraine location near New Castle in 1992, and opened the Laurel Highlands park in 1998.

Among the animals visitors can view, and sometimes pet and feed, are an alpaca, alligator, Brahma bull, black swan, dromedary camel, timber wolf, white bison and zebra.

By mid-morning Monday, visitors were filling the park's lot.

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
  2. Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
  3. After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
  4. McCullers’, McLendon’s prowess in clogging trenches crucial to Steelers defense
  5. Reds solve Cole, stave off Pirates’ 9th-inning rally
  6. Pirates notebook: New acquisition Happ more than happy to fill spot in rotation
  7. Starting 9: Examining Pirates’ deadline decisions
  8. Biertempfel: Players, MLB agree logic of season’s setup needs to be examined
  9. Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
  10. Roman Catholic Church in midst of culture clash over gays
  11. Pirates farmhand Suchy learns limits of his size, strength