A Bristol pet shop is counting the cost after an arson attack caused the death of dozens of animals, and damaged thousands of pounds worth of stock.
The owners of The Pet Shop on Station Road, Shirehampton were alerted to the blaze after they were called by the tenants of the flat above the shop at 2.15am. When they arrived a short time later they found that fire crews were already on the scene and had extinguished the small blaze in the ground floor entrance.
Prompt action by staff and fire crews in moving much of the livestock, which included guinea pigs, hamsters, puppies, ferrets and birds out of the smoke-filled building into fresh air helped save many of the animals, but sadly two tanks of tropical fish and 17 canaries were not so lucky and have died as a result.
Shop owner Tim Florey estimates the total cost of the damage at around £30,000, but despite this was thankful that a combination of smoke alarms and prompt action by the fire service prevented the fire taking hold, particularly with tenants sleeping in the flats above.
The fire is believed to have been started deliberately with signs of the letterbox being smashed and an unknown accelerant being poured through it before being set on fire.
CCTV footage from the shop and surrounding area is being reviewed in an effort to identify the culprits.
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