London Zoo on lockdown after fire broke out next to the Meerkats

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A raging fire erupted at the London Zoo in the early hours of December 23 as fearless firefighters rushed to put out the insane blaze.

Flames ripped through the Animal Adventure section just after 6am, spreading to a cafe that included a petting zoo, and a gift shop near a penguin pool at the back of the site.

The zoo said an aardvark, called Misha, had died in the fire and that four meerkats were unaccounted for.

The London Fire Brigade said 70 firefighters and ten fire engines were working to put out at the fire at the cafe and shop area of the park, which is close to the meerkat enclosure.

One person was taken to hospital and eight were treated at the scene for injuries.

The fire was brought under control at about 9:16 a.m. local time (4:16 a.m. ET) and an investigation remained underway into its cause, the fire brigade said.

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Pictures showed the brightly coloured Adventure Cafe with blackened walls and smoke pouring out of its windows.

Mr Jermey said: "Given the circumstances they are fine but they, like..."

'We will update as quickly as the situation allows'.

"When they arrived our crews were faced with a very well developed fire".

Security guards, along with zoo keepers who live on site, first responded to the fire, alerting authorities and moving the animals to safe locations within their enclosures, the zoo said. However, it confirmed on Twitter it would reopen Sunday.

'It is not believed any animals are involved at this stage'.