ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A reptile shop owner vowed to reopen after a fire ravaged his building over the weekend.
The Exotic Amphibian Reptile Center—also known as Exotic Arc Shop—on Lemay Ferry Road has its front windows boarded up after a fire Sunday morning.
Most of the damage was to the front of the store. The flames spread to the ceiling and the entire store has smoke damage. Exotic Arc sells various reptiles including lizards, snakes, turtles, frogs, tarantulas, scorpions, and fish.
The reptile center also sells large snakes to musician Alice Cooper, which he uses on-stage during his concerts. Unfortunately, a lot of memorabilia from the artist was damaged by smoke.
Owner James Brumley lives above the store. He said someone knocked on his door around 7 a.m. Sunday to alert him to the fire.
When he came into the shop, Brumley noticed the cage that holds three four-foot lizards was engulfed in flames.
“It’s a miracle because there were three lizards in there and the entire cage was engulfed in flames and they don’t have any burns or any problems that we can see so far,” Brumley said. “We had hiding places in there for them because it makes it more comfortable if they can hide and they must have all hunkered down in there and stayed throughout the whole thing and apparently that kept them safe from the fire.”