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Nearly 100 animals killed in fire at pet store on northwest side

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — About 100 animals were killed in a Monday night fire at a pet store on the city’s northwest side, the Indianapolis Fire Department said.

Multiple dogs, parakeets, rabbits and other animals died as a result of smoke inhalation. Several reptiles, fish, a guinea pig and an office cat survived the fire.

Just after 9 p.m. Monday, crews were called to a fire at Uncle Bill’s Pet Center, 4829 W. 38th St. That’s in the Georgetown Plaza shopping center off Georgetown Road.

Firefighters arrived to find smoke coming from the rear of the building. The department said crews initially had trouble getting to the fire, which stayed on the roof toward the back of the store. Crews go the fire under control around 10:15 p.m.

Juan Casella watched as firefighters worked as fast as they could to gain access to an attack fire at Uncle Bill’s Pet Center.

“I also saw a lot of smoke coming out of the roof. A lot of police and fire departments coming here,” said Casella.

Ashley Justice lives around the corner from Uncle Bill’s. She’s an animal lover. She said she feels heartbroken.

“I feel really upset about the animals. I’m hoping they can get back on their feet and be able to supply more,” said Justice.

Since the shop is closed, customers including Justice will have to find other stores that can meet their pets’ needs.

“I love having a pet shop around the corner. We could walk if we want to or just stop right before we come home,” said Justice.

Customers remain hopeful that it will reopen.

Surviving animals were removed for evaluation by an Uncle Bill’s veterinarian.

The fire’s cause remained under investigation on Tuesday night. Indianapolis Fire Department did not provide an estimated cost of the damage.

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