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N.J. Fire Destroys Aquarium

October 31, 1999

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (AP) _ A fire sparked by two explosions gutted an aquarium in this seaside town Saturday night, killing at least three dozen animals.

A few survived, including a turtle, an 18-foot African rock python and three alligators.

The Ocean City Aquarium was closed for the day when the fire started. Investigators had not determined the cause of the explosions.

Neighbor Christina Arsenis said she called authorities around 8:15 p.m. after she heard the blasts.

``It was a huge fire. You couldn’t see the houses on the street for all the smoke,″ said Arsenis, who lives three doors down from the aquarium.

None of the buildings around the 4-year-old facility were threatened by the blaze, fire officials said.

At least 12 iguanas and 24 snakes were killed. Firefighters spotted the python slithering through the building as they were putting out the last of the flames.

Update hourly