Peterson's Pet Shop , a family run business in Rome for decades, went up in flames.

A fire broke out at the exotic pet shop on James Street in Rome early Thursday morning. Bill Hoffmeister, who was on the scene said "no one was hurt but the animals in the store perished. It's a sad day in Rome."

The fire spread to nearby businesses including Ballisters Bistro, that closed nearly 2 years ago, and Leggs Diamond. Residents in the community could see the blaze for miles. Lori Russell says the fire was so big, smoke was coming into her home. "I could here the roof collapsing at Peterson's Pet Shop from my back door."

"I could see the smoke from Walmart," says Amandy Marie.

Jeannie Marshall Garner woke up to her son telling her about the fire. "I hope and pray no one gets hurt."

A veteran who was living above the pet shop, barely made it out with his service dog. Donations are now being collected to help.

Thoughts and prayers to the Peterson family and everyone affected by this devastating fire. A Go Fund Me has been set up for the family who lost the business they've spent their lives building.

Thank you to Bill, Jeannie Brianna, Anthony and Emily who shared video and photos and the Rome firefighters working in frigid conditions to battle the blaze.

Peterson's Pet Shop Fire

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