Firefighters arriving on the scene in Indianapolis investigated an alarm at about 9 p.m. and discovered the building coated in “thick black smoke.” Inside the store, firefighters found what “can only be described as a horrible tragedy,” fire officials said.
The Indianapolis Fire Department gave a statement on Facebook that reads:
“In what can only be described as a horrible tragedy, an estimated 100 animals perished as a result of smoke inhalation during tonight’s fire at Uncle Bills Pet Center 4829 W. 38th St. The animals included approximately 40 dogs, 25 parakeets, rabbits and other assorted animals.
Multiple reptiles, fish, a resilient guinea pig and an office cat survived. The live animals were removed and are being taken for evaluation by an Uncle Bills Veterinarian.”
“It is unclear how long the fire had been burning prior to the alarm going off, but the building was heavily charged with thick black smoke on arrival. The animals were still in their respective cages and simply succumbed to the deadly gases produced by the smoke.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.”
“Firefighters had initial difficulties accessing the fire, which stayed contained to the roof area of the Mr. Bills Pet Center, at the back of the store.
There was no communication to any of the other stores in the strip – however, some said they had the smell of smoke from it traveling through the common roof.”
“The animals were still in their respective cages and simply succumbed to the deadly gases produced by the smoke,” authorities mentioned.
Among the lifeless animals had been about 40 dogs, 25 parakeets, and a number of rabbits. The surviving ones included reptiles, fish, a guinea pig, and a cat, all of which have been safely removed from the building and brought to a veterinarian for medical treatment.
9:02 PM – An estimated 100 animals perished as a result of smoke inhalation during a fire at Uncle Bills Pet Center 4829 W 38th. Initially dispatched as an alarm, the building was heavily charged w/ thick black smoke on arrival. Cause is under investigation. Under control in 1 hr pic.twitter.com/8kl4Msfdzw
— Indianapolis Fire Department 🚒 (@IFD_NEWS) February 16, 2021
The explanation for the blaze remains under investigation. It’s additionally unclear how long the fire had been burning prior to the alarm going off.
Photos from the scene show firefighters tackling the blaze at Uncle Bill’s Pet Supplies under snowy weather and poor visibility. Officials stated the crew had “initial difficulties” accessing the fire, which stayed contained at the roof area behind the shop.
The blaze was declared under control after about one hour.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.