Indianapolis fire department/ twitter
Dozens of animals are dead after a fire broke out at an Indianapolis pet store on Monday night.
According to authorities, an estimated 100 animals died as a result of smoke inhalation when a fire erupted at Uncle Bills Pet Center in Georgetown Plaza. Among the pets killed were approximately 40 dogs, 25 parakeets, and several rabbits and other animals.
"The animals were still in their respective cages and simply succumbed to the deadly gases produced by the smoke," the fire department told ABC News, calling the incident "a horrible tragedy."
Indianapolis firefighters said they were called to the scene at around 9 p.m. local time. When they arrived, the building was "heavily charged with thick black smoke."
9:02 PM - An estimated 100 animals perished as a result of smoke inhalation during a fire at Uncle Bills Pet Center 4829 W 38th. Initially dispatched as an alarm, the building was heavily charged w/ thick black smoke on arrival. Cause is under investigation. Under control in 1 hr pic.twitter.com/8kl4Msfdzw
— Indianapolis Fire Department 🚒 (@IFD_NEWS) February 16, 2021
"Firefighters had initial difficulties accessing the fire, which stayed contained to the roof area... at the back of the store," IFD Battalion Chief Rita Reith said in a statement to the Indy Star.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.
Fire crews were eventually able to control the fire after an hour. Several reptiles, fish, a guinea pig, and an office cat all survived the blaze and are being taken care of by a veterinarian from Uncle Bills.
Officials told ABC and NBC's WTHR they are still investigating what caused the fire.