Owner burnt saving pet shop animals

2013-03-27 09:00


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Witbank - The owner of a Witbank pet shop is in a serious condition in hospital after he ran into his burning shop to save his exotic animals, Beeld reported on Wednesday.

Henry Kemp, 35, owner of Animaniacs, in the Izindlu Village complex, received a phone call at around 23:00 on Saturday night from his security company to inform him the alarm system at his business was not working.

He and his sister, Cozette Beck, who is the co-owner of the shopping complex, drove there to investigate, and found all eight shops ablaze.

"He had animals in quarantine, and ran into the shop to see if he could save them. This is who he is. The animals were his life. Henry was overcome by the flames. We stood outside and heard him shouting: 'Help me, help me.' I called to him to jump into one of the koi dams, and that's what he did."

Firefighters managed to save Kemp from the building. He was taken to Milpark hospital in Johannesburg with serious burns to his arms and legs.

Among the animals lost in the fire were two boas, 55 ball pythons, 300 spiders, 20 koi, a pair of Amazon parrots, and smaller birds and tarantulas. Some of the animals that were rescued were taken to a vet in Pretoria, while the rest are being looked after by Kemp's parents.

Beck said damage to the complex was estimated at between R8m and R9m.


Read more on:    mbombela  |  animals  |  fires

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