Southern Blvd. businesses picking up pieces after fire

MORRISANIA - Following a devastating fire that gutted a pet store and several other businesses along Southern Boulevard Wednesday night, local business owners are trying to figure out their next steps.

Thursday morning, the owner of Stephanie Pet Center, Edwin Rios, met with his insurance agent to discuss compensation for the damage. While Rios explains he has a good insurance policy, it does not cover the animals, which means $30,000 in lost pets.

However, Rios knows that no amount of money can bring back the thousands of fish, reptiles and birds he had been raising for nearly three decades.

?Everything here is sentimental,? he says. ?I raised them since they were chicks.?

Rios and other local business owners are now talking about making a fresh start. Rios says this is not the end of the road for his pet store, which has been a neighborhood fixture. He says he will either rebuild or rent space nearby.

The blaze that gutted Rios? store and five other businesses started inside a Laundromat. It took nearly 140 firefighters more than two hours to put out the flames.

Click to see Chopper 12 footage of the Southern Blvd. fire

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