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Officials: Fire at Bellingham pet store is suspicious

February 21, 2019
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In this photo taken Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, the charred remains of the "Bird Alley" mural sit in the alley behind Holh Feed & Seed in Bellingham, Wash. The Bellingham Fire Department was called to a two-alarm fire early Monday morning that destroyed the second story and the granary tower of the building. More than 75 animals were rescued from a burning pet supply store. (Lacey Young/The Bellingham Herald via AP)

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say the cause of a fire at a Bellingham pet store is suspicious.

The city’s police and fire departments said Wednesday the fire at the Hohl Feed and Seed, which prompted the rescue of 78 animals, appeared to have been started by someone who can be seen on area surveillance video outside the store minutes before the fire was reported.

Officials say there’s nothing to indicate the fire early Monday was an accident, and it apparently was started deliberately or recklessly.

The Bellingham Herald reports the Whatcom Humane Society is caring for the rescued animals, but some birds and a python remain missing. Those that survived include rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, mice, domestic rats, birds and a tarantula.

They are not available for adoption.