Fla. pet shop fire takes toll on fish

May 25, 2008 at 1:55 PM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., May 25 (UPI) -- A Florida pet shop owner says he hopes he can rebound after a weekend fire killed scores of exotic fish.

The damage toll from the Saturday blaze at the Daytona Aquarium is set at about $100,000, including $10,000 worth of rare African sicklets and other hard-to-come-by fish that perished when the heat caused their tanks to explode.

"I'm praying that in six months I'll look back and say this is a good thing," Gary Johnson told WKMG-TV in Orlando. "Someone said, 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'"

Daytona Beach firefighters were credited with preventing even greater damage. They helped Johnson set up small swimming pools in the parking lot and evacuated surviving fish tanks from the burning store.

"There were a lot of fish gasping and trying to hold on," Johnson recounted.

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