Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Animal survivors found after Isle of Wight pet shop fire

Leopard gecko (left) and white spotted gecko Image copyright Isle of Wight Pet Centre
Image caption A leopard gecko was found behind a chiller cabinet, while a white spotted gecko was discovered amongst boxes of stock

Animals believed to have died in a pet shop fire, including snakes, tortoises and geckos, have been found alive.

Birds, reptiles and lizards were killed in the blaze at Isle of Wight Pet Centre in Newport on 5 November.

Manager Becky Wall said a leopard gecko and a white spotted gecko had escaped their enclosures and were found behind a chiller cabinet and boxes of stock.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is continuing but it is not thought to be suspicious.

A crowdfunding page set up to help the store has raised more than £3,000.

Ms Wall said up to 70% of the shop's animal stock had been lost in the blaze, including a guinea pig which died of smoke inhalation the following day.

However, she said the survivors, which include several rabbits, were "doing extremely well".

Image copyright Google
Image caption Isle of Wight Pet Centre has been trading for more than 17 years

"Local residents and customers have also been turning up to help with the clear-up," Ms Wall said.

"Some people have been fitting it in around their full time jobs. The support we've had is absolutely amazing."

Owner Paul Collins said his team had already started repainting the shop, which had its ground floor and roof damaged in the fire.

He added he hoped the centre, which includes a cafe, would reopen "within a couple of weeks".

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