- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (AP) - Authorities say several snakes and alligators are probably dead after a fire likely caused by lightning destroyed a nature center at a coastal state park in South Carolina.

Midway Fire Rescue Chief Doug Eggiman said in a news release that the center at Huntington Beach State Park near Murrells Inlet was destroyed in the fire reported about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Eggiman says he doesn’t know exactly how many reptiles were kept at the center, but he can’t see how any could have survived the intense blaze. State park officials have not commented on the fire.

No people were hurt.

Eggiman says the preliminary investigation shows lightning from strong storms appears to have sparked the blaze.

The park is along the Atlantic Ocean about 20 miles south of Myrtle Beach.

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