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@ 2006-11-06 10:43:52
Fire engulfs Florida's Gatorland theme park
Mon Nov 6, 2006 10:09am ET147

MIAMI (Reuters) - A fire broke out on Monday at the Gatorland theme park in central Florida, one of the state's oldest tourist attractions.

Orange County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Marianne Nuckles said about 75 firefighters had managed to contain the blaze by about 9:30 a.m. EST, more than 3-1/2 hours after it erupted.

Up to 10 snakes and reptiles, including some crocodiles, may have died in the fire that engulfed the gift shop at the entrance to the 110-acre (44.5 hectare) park, but firefighters had not been able to get in to confirm that, Nuckles said.

Founded in 1949, Gatorland features reptile shows, a petting zoo and thousands of alligators and crocodiles. It is located just north of the Orlando-Kissimmee line in south Orlando.