Store helps to look after pets

A Norwich pet store has come to the rescue of pets affected by a tower block blaze in Mile Cross.

The Giant Pet Store, off Fifers Lane, has offered to look after the pets of several customers from Markham Tower, in Bowers Avenue, who are currently living in temporary accommodation following the building fire last month.

The blaze, which started in an eighth-floor apartment, left one flat badly damaged by fire, at least another 10 homes with water damage, and everybody from the 44-flat tower had to be temporarily evacuated. Among them are Andrew Fitzgerald, a 33-year-old chef, and his wife Melanie, who are currently living at the Holiday Inn hotel at Norwich Sport Village, but the couple had to leave their two degus, also known as brush-tailed rats, Darwin, above, and Columbus, and their tropical fish in Markham Tower until The Giant Pet Store offered to help. Mr Fitzgerald said he had been able to visit his pets regularly to feed them, but had been concerned about leaving them alone for a long time.

He said pet shop's offer to help was a big relief.

'We use the store a lot and it is brilliant they have been able to help in our hour of need,' he said. 'It is a nice thing to come out of a horrible situation.

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'I just want to get back home now more than anything. Hopefully we will be able to go home soon.'

Mr Fitzgerald said the store had also offered a temporary home to some tropical fish and some goldfish belonging to his neighbour David Cullum.

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Ben Legood, manager of The Giant Pet Store, said: 'They are both regular customers and it is our way of saying thank you to them. We are pleased to be able to help.'

Do you have a story about the Mile Cross area? Call David Bale on 01603 772427 or email

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