Officials say fire at Lawrence pet store was accidental

Lawrence pet store fire (Courtesy: KMBC-TV)

LAWRENCE, Kansas (AP) – Officials say a fire that killed several animals at a pet store in Kansas was accidental.

Fire Department Division Chief Eve Tolefree said Thursday the Memorial Day fire at Pet World in Lawrence was caused by an electrical problem in the main breaker panel. The fire caused about $500,000 in damages.

Co-owner Sherry Emerson said Tuesday all of the store’s mammals and birds, and some reptiles and fish died in the fire. She would not give an exact number.

However, firefighters were able to rescue several animals and some small animals stored in a separate structure were alive.

Emerson and her husband, Tim, have said they will rebuild the store, which has operated in Lawrence for nearly 30 years.

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