Pet shop

Cuddles and Bubbles pet store in Sheerness reopens with a new look after devastating fire

A pet store that was ravaged by a serious fire that killed several animals is due to reopen today.

A fire broke out inside Cuddles and Bubbles on Sheerness Broadway in May 2020 and volunteers rushed to the store to save as many animals as possible including turtles, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs and the two cats in the store.

Paris Baker, Megan McCarthy, Steve Bristow, Alec Smith and Katie Butcher in front of Cuddles and Bubbles

Six firefighters spent four hours battling the blaze, which started in a faulty electrical device, and, in the height of hell, firefighters gave rescued animals oxygen in an attempt to revive them .

Sadly, some died in the blaze, including Toby, an African Gray Parrot, but owner Alec Smith said: “Fortunately we saved more than we lost”.

Meanwhile, the interior of the building, which was completely devastated by the fire, had to be rebuilt in the past 16 months. Meanwhile, Cuddles and Bubbles continued to trade at another store across the street, next to Barclays Bank.

Mr Smith said: “The store was completely emptied – it was up to the bare walls. We had to redo all the walls, floors, ceilings and joists.

The 59-year-old, from Sheerness, added: “We are really looking forward to reopening now and welcoming everyone back – it’s been a long time.

Firefighters tackle the Cuddles and Bubbles pet shop blaze in Sheerness in May 2020 Photo: Jamie Norris
Firefighters tackle the Cuddles and Bubbles pet shop blaze in Sheerness in May 2020 Photo: Jamie Norris
Inside the eviscerated remains of the Cuddles and Bubbles <a class=pet store last year” data-root=”/_media/img/” data-path=”TW42RO7P2YQKU4XQUM2A.jpg” data-ar=”1.50″/>
Inside the eviscerated remains of the Cuddles and Bubbles pet store last year

“We have a lot of new lines and the whole concept of the store has changed – we have a whole new layout.”

When asked how this whole ordeal had been for him, Mr. Smith said: “Very stressful, very upsetting and heartbreaking. One of the reasons we changed the concept of the store is to no longer have bad memories of what it used to be.

“We can’t wait to go back now.”

Mr Smith, who has been trading in Sheerness for 22 years, thanked everyone who helped him rebuild.

“We would also like to thank TA Electrical, they were amazing, Steve Evans who managed projects every day and did a wonderful job, DL Shopfitters and Joinery, and Jays Handyman Services.

Inside the newly renovated Cuddles n Bubbles pet store
Inside the newly renovated Cuddles n Bubbles pet store
The revamped interior of the boutique
The revamped interior of the boutique

“We also had a brand new fire and security system installed by Dave and Lee of Omiga Fire and Security Ltd. I also want to personally thank my staff – Megan, Paris, Steve and Katie – and all of my close friends. . “

On today’s opening day there will be free gifts, specials and animal masks for children. There will also be a snake show.

Read more: All the latest from Sheppey


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