Over 20 animals die in Bloomington pet store fire

Twelve animals survived the fire.
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Updated: .
Kris Kirschner/Eyewitness News

Bloomington - Dozens of animals were trapped as fire raced through a pet store early Monday morning. It happened at Delilah's pet store at 17th street and College Avenue in Bloomington.

Scared as they are, the puppies and kittens rescued from Delilah's are the lucky ones. They left a Bloomington veterinary hospital in good health despite the odds.

"All they've got is a little bit of ash on 'em," said one person at the clinic.

"At least we got some of them out. That's better than nothing, I guess," said another.

The nine dogs and three cats survived what dozens of others did not, a fire that raced through a well-known Bloomington pet store early Monday morning.

The animals were rescued from the front of the building where they were on display. Investigators say the damage is so great it will take a while to determine a cause.

Karen Kidwell, the owner of the store, believes it started in the back of the building.

"Probably electrical. It's an old building," said Kidwell. "I'm really glad none of my people were here because I would have really felt bad if they got hurt. And if we had been here, we'd have been getting the animals."

Kidwell moved to the site from another about about years ago. She wanted to be close to campus and have room for people to visit with the animals.

The fire broke out just minutes before the store was set to open. Kidwell is thankful no people were inside, but grieves for the four-legged friends who couldn't get out alive.

"I've been thinking about the animals that didn't make it out. I had a personal dog that had been abused. It was a really sweet dog that didn't get out of the fire and I just hate to see her go down that way."

There were more than 20 animals that died in the fire. Three cats are still missing.

Kidwell isn't sure if she'll re-open. She says if she does, it will likely be on a much smaller scale.

The puppies and kittens that survived were taken to a groomer in Columbus to be cared for before they're put up for adoption.