No animals were inside a pet store in Ilkeston that caught fire, but the owner and his family managed to escape.
Firefighters were called in for a “major fire” at 1st 4 Pets in Bath Street just before 5pm on Saturday 9th October.
Incident commander Steve Ratcliffe told Nottinghamshire Live that there were “no pets inside during the fire” and that the business owner and his family had attempted to to extinguish the fire.
The fire chief said: “The owner of the business and his family were in the building at the time of the fire, they attempted to fight the blaze without success.
“They did well.”
Teams from Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire were called to the scene and thick black smoke could be seen rising into the sky.
On arrival Mr Ratcliffe, of the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service, said smoke was rising from the roof and flames from the windows.
“It’s a big fire,” he said, explaining that the fire had spread.
“At the moment we are only mitigating it, the fire has started from the first floor through the roof and it has also come down to the ground floor,” he said on Saturday evening.
Witnesses said they instinctively hoped the animals would not be harmed.
Tina Barsby, 62, who works at Cashino in Bath Street, said: “As soon as I heard about it I kept thinking about ‘those poor animals’.”
Retiree Trev Jolly, 66, was stunned by what he saw.
“I just saw it – I was just coming here to withdraw money from the bank,” he said.
“You can see the smoke rising though, I’ve never seen so many fire trucks.”