Cause of Marion pet store fire that killed reptiles under investigation | Local News


MARION, Va. – Marion fire crews are still trying to determine the cause of a fire that devastated a Marion pet store on Wednesday.

Called just before noon, firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the blaze at Blue Iguana, a reptile supply store in the Iron Street Mall in downtown Marion. A number of reptiles, however, did not survive.

After the fire was extinguished, store owners, along with firefighters, police, animal control officers and members of the nearby Smyth County Animal Rescue, sprang into action. The rescue, which is across the driveway from Blue Iguana, seized crates and other containers to hold the reptiles that survived the fire.

“We heard them say ‘crates,’ so we started throwing crates out the door,” the animal shelter’s executive director said.

The surviving reptiles were housed at the rescue while they were evaluated for veterinary care and have since been placed in temporary homes.

Marion Police Chief John Clair, who was among those at the scene, praised firefighters for their quick action.

“I think Marion Fire [EMS] does an amazing job,” he said. “If they hadn’t been there as quickly as they were, it could have easily spread to all of downtown.”

Marion Fire Chief Richard Keesling said the fire was limited to the Blue Iguana, but adjacent units suffered smoke damage. He said the origin and cause of the fire were unclear.


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