Heating element eyed in deadly fire at Ohio turtle exhibit

MEDINA, Ohio (AP) — Officials suspect a heating element caused a fire that claimed the lives of some turtles at an exhibit in northwest Ohio.

Firefighters responded to a report of a shed fire at Turtle World of Medina on Wednesday afternoon.

In a Facebook post, the department said firefighters removed approximately 10 turtles, which included two large tortoises, from the smoke-filled shed and used specially designed masks to administer oxygen to the reptiles.

About half the turtles did not survive, firefighters said.

“The shed had been insulated and heated to house the turtles and it is believed that one of the heating elements started the fire,” the department said.

Turtle World of Medina bills itself as “a place to enjoy the wonder of turtles and tortoises.”