Fire destroys Bronx stores, kills pets

November 20, 2008 4:49:40 AM PST
A smoky fire raged for more than three hours and destroyed seven shops in the Morrisania section of the Bronx before being declared under control. A New York City Fire Department spokesman said 138 firefighters battled the blaze and six were treated for minor injuries.

The fire was first reported inside the Urrego Alba Cleaners at 4:14 p.m. Wednesday, but spread to others in the area of 1105 Southern Boulevard and East 167 Street, by 5 p.m.

A grocery store, pet store, barber shop, dry cleaners, nail salon and tuxedo rental shop were damaged by the fire, which was declared under control at 7:39 p.m.

The flamed also threatened to an apartment building, which was evacuated. Residents were expected to be allowed back into their homes late Wednesday night.

A New York City Fire Department spokesman said firefighters were able to rescue two cats, four lizards and a parrot from a burning pet store. Dozens of other animals in the shop perished.

Because of the fire, subway service was disrupted. The 2 and 5 trains were bypassing the Simpson Street Station. Service resumed just after 6:30 p.m.

One-hundred-thirty-eight firefighters battled the blaze and six were treated for minor injuries.

No serious injuries were reported. ----
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