An initial investigation by NSW Fire Service and Police into a fire that occurred in a lunch room at Taronga Zoo this week assessed that the cause could have been a toaster plugged into a possibly faulty circuit.
Initial concerns that there may have been asbestos contained in the roof of the structure were unfounded, as subsequent testing by independent specialists found no asbestos in various samples from the building.
Zoo Director Cameron Kerr has praised the fast response of NSW Fire Crews, saying:
"We appreciate the prompt and effective actions of the fire crews that attended the fire and extinguished it on Tuesday morning, and we're also grateful for the Darling Point resident who first spotted the flames and alerted authorities."
"Thankfully, none of our staff or animals were in the vicinity, so they’re safe and well."
The structure affected by the fire has been cordoned off until an assessment of the building’s condition has been completed, which will determine the next course of action. The area is not near zoo exhibits or visitor facilities so there will be no impact on visitors to the zoo.
While Taronga has substantial fire prevention infrastructure systems in place to protect its assets, zoo management is still reviewing the incident very carefully to minimise any risks in the future.