Owner of a pet store, customers are devastated after the death of a dozen animals in the Fayetteville fire

FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (WNCN) – The owner of Aqua-Rama Pet Shop said a dozen animals had died, including exotic birds and snakes, after the Fayetteville store caught fire on Sunday night.

“All the spiders, the scorpions, we’ve lost them all,” said Joseph Spano. “Not from the smoke, we lost them to the water because they can’t swim well.”

Several pets were rescued, including fish, turtles, birds and snakes.

“Saved a bunch of fish that we’re going to donate to the community,” Spano said.

Spano bought the store in 1984 after working there while in the military.

“I really can’t describe what it was,” Spano said, in tears. “It was my life, that of my family, that of my grandchildren.”

Teddy Swatz has been a loyal customer for 20 years, claiming the store is a “must-have for Fayetteville”.

“It’s a little devastating to see this because you know a lot of childhood memories,” Swatz said. “I often bring my daughter here. “

Firefighters are working to determine how the blaze started, while customers are responding to help the family.

“I’m sorry for all the animals they lost,” Swatz said. “I’m definitely here to help them with anything they may need right now. “

“We trust God, so we will continue,” Spano said.

The family is collect donations to help rebuild. They say they didn’t have insurance.

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