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Fire investigators on Tuesday determined that a faulty electric panel is to blame for a blaze Monday night that destroyed two businesses in Hilltop Plaza and killed a dozen animals.
Lawrenceburg Fire Chief Robert Hume said it appears the fire broke out in the rear of All About Animals in a room where the animals were stored.
“That’s where the electric panel was,” he said. “We’ve finished our investigation and determined that was the cause.”
The fire was called out around 7:30 Monday night. When firefighters arrived, All Around Animals was already filled with black smoke and any chance of finding animals alive inside were dashed, Hume said.
Hume said his initial reaction was that the fire could destroy the entire plaza.
“Oh, I was very concerned,” Hume said. “With that much heat inside of that kind of structure, the fire can travel fast.”
The building, constructed with steel siding, had smoke pouring from the roofline and eaves when firefighters arrived. They attacked the fire from the front and rear entrances of All Around Pets.
Firefighters in the rear took turns using an ax to chop their way through the steel back door, then used hoses to spray the flames.