CENTEREACH, Long Island — About a dozen animals are dead after a fire ripped through a Long Island pet store.
The blaze began around 10 a.m. Thursday at the Magic Isle pet shop in Centereach. No people were inside of the building.
Responding firefighters from seven departments scrambled with shop workers to save animals. The store sells a variety of animal breeds, including birds, fish, rabbits and hamsters.
In the end, about a dozen of those animals perished, leaving shop owner Linda Carpinone heart broken.
“The birds, none of the birds made it,” Carpinone said. “Cheerio. Everyone knows Cheerio, my African gray, he didn’t make it.”
Carpinone has operated the pet shop with her husband Joe for nearly 50 years. The family-owned business specializes in a wide range of small animals like baby bunnies, guinea pigs and hamsters.
Carpinone said she doesn’t know whether they’ll overcome this tragedy.
“I just want to make sure that whatever animals made it out there OK," she said.
It was the second location for the popular pet store, which spent decades at the Centereach Mall.
But the shop’s new location hasn’t brought much luck to the family.
“Last year, a lady drove her vehicle right in front and crashed right into the supporting column,” she said. “And now this has happened.”
Thursday morning’s fire has brought the community in Centereach closer together.
Many former and current workers along with complete strangers have converged on the pet store, offering to foster the animals and store the fish as the Carpinone family assesses the situation.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Officials said it does not appear to be suspicious.