SCORES of animals were at risk after a fire broke out at the back of a pet shop over the bank holiday weekend.
Police and fire investigators are looking into the cause of the fire at Green Street Pets and Wildlife in Albert Parade, Old Town.
Police say no pets were affected or evacuated but neighbours were told to leave their homes and surrounding shops were smoke damaged.
Officers and fire crews rushed to the shop at 11.15pm on Bank Holiday Monday after a blaze broke out in the rear of the property.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said the fire was mainly situated at the rear of the premises in a garage which was being used for storage for hay and straw.
The fire was put out and all the contents removed from the garage area.
The upper levels of the building, which housed a store room next to the garage, and the upstairs main shop area and the flats above the shop all had smoke damage.
One neighbour, who gave her name as Frances and lives above the pet shop, said she had just gone to bed when she heard her next door neighbour Pete knocking on her front door.
“I could see the flames down by my side and jumped over the railings to my neighbours,” said Frances.
“After the firemen put the blaze out I asked them to go in and look for my cat Dennis.”
Much to Frances’ relief, 10-year-old Dennis was rescued. But the inside of her flat is badly smoke damaged and the floor and walls caved in where firefighters had to smash through to fight the fire.Properties next to the pet shop, including Corals, had smoke damage.
Police are appealing for information, contact Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999 quoting serial 1686 or the independent charity Crimestoppers.