The owner of a Aquarium Central, on Johnston St. in Lafayette, is trying to figure out what to do next, after the store caught fire Tuesday night. Some animals did not survive the fire.
Joey Bennett estimates he lost $20,000 in fish and other merchandise in the fire.
“The surge protector was at the top. Maybe it was overloaded. Maybe it was faulty. It caused some kind of overheating pattern,” said Bennett.
The fire broke out inside the store around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. It’s believed to be an electrical fire, and started at a large wooden cabinet of aquariums.
Firefighters put out the fire quickly. Then, helped save as many animals as they could.
“He had various animals on the inside when helped him move out in cages,” said Lafayette Fire Department Public Information Officer Alton Trahan. “When we put the fire out and cleared the smoke, firefighters jumped into action to help him evacuate as much of the animals as possible.”
Bennett has been in business here for about 4 and 1/2 years, after earining his Biology degree at the Univeristy of Louisiana – Lafayette. He says business was good before this, even in the pandemic. He says he has insurance, but it’s too early to say what he’ll do next.
“This is an intergrated passion for me. Working at pet stores. Teaching people about marine and fresh water life. As far as right now, I’m going to get insurance quotes. See how much it’s going to cost. See what’s at fault. Take it day by day.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up for Bennett. Click here to check it out.