The flames broke out at Magic Isle on Middle Country Road in Centereach just before 10 a.m.
Firefighters from seven departments responded to the scene and extinguished the fire. Police and firefighters could be seen removing dozens of cages and glass containers from the premises, saving animals that survived.
"So many people came to help," owner Linda Carpinone said tearfully. "They got so many of the animals out."
No one was inside at the time.
"You could see by the charring, looking at the store, the left front section, which is right where the animals are, is where the fire was," she said. "And then the whole place is covered in soot."
Carpinone said the pets that died were birds, guinea pigs, a rabbit and a few mice.
"Cheerio, my African gray, he didn't make it out," she said. "I just want to thank everybody that came to our help. This barbershop man let us put all the animals in his warm spot. The ASPCA made sure that the animals, if they needed help, they would get help."
More than half a dozen animals are still unaccounted for. A pet cat named Charm was found safe.
The store carries mostly reptiles and fish, and no cats or dogs.
The Brookhaven Town fire marshal also responded, and so far, the fire is not believed to be suspicious.
Other businesses located in the strip were also damaged. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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