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Firies rescue reptiles from blaze
CFA firefighters have rescued dozens of snakes and other reptiles from a school fire in Lilydale.
Eight trucks from Lilydale, Mooroolbark, Mt Evelyn and Bayswater were called to the Melba Avenue school shortly after midnight on Wednesday.
CFA District 13 Operations Officer Don Tomkins said crews arrived to find a portable classroom - which was housing snakes, lizards, frogs and turtles - on fire.
“There was a lot of smoke issuing from the structure so crews wore breathing apparatus during the firefight,” he said.
After extinguishing the blaze, crews discovered some of the animals had escaped their enclosures.
“Our crews helped the local school teacher to round up the reptiles but, sadly, some animals were lost during the fire.”
"We're still not sure on how many died as a result of the blaze, but crews saved many of them and they're now in safe keeping."
An emergency refuge is being organised to house the remaining snakes and reptiles.
The cause is being investigated this morning, but it is not believed to be suspicious.
Images: ABC and Liam Beaton