Animals perish in Centereach pet store fire

Posted: Updated:
CENTEREACH -

About 20 animals were killed Thursday when flames erupted at Magic Isle Aquarium and Pets on Middle Country Road in Centereach.

No people were inside the building at the time of the incident, and 75 other animals were rescued from the flames.

The shop's owner Linda Carpinone says the fire may have been triggered by a spark from a neon light fixture that landed in animal bedding.

The shop had been in business for 45 years before the fire raged inside for hours Thursday morning.

"All the birds perished," Carpinone says.

But firefighters emerged from the building carrying cages of cats, rabbits, hamsters and reptiles to safety. The SPCA and other animal rescue groups pitched in to help.

Suffolk SPCA Officer Jennifer Pape says some rescued animals were treated in ambulances outside.

Erica Kutzing, of the Strong Island Animal Rescue League, put out a plea on social media for people to help foster some of the pets.

"The amount of outpouring of support was incredible," she says.

All of the surviving animals have been taken to foster homes — except for one rabbit that remains hospitalized.

"Thank you whoever came to help," Carpinone says. "Thank you so much."

She says she plans to rebuild.

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