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Five show dogs died in an RV fire a day before the American Kennel Club (AKC) All-Breed Dog Show at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa on Tuesday, June 13.
Rob Herrin, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokesperson, told WTSP, that the fire was reported Tuesday afternoon and revealed that the casualties were all prized boxers.
And the five boxers that passed away due to the fire were Rummer Run’s Rabble Rouser “Rabble”, Bimberg’s Jubilant Perfect Ten for YDK “Zehnna”, Rummer Run’s Jingle Jangle “JJ”, GCHB CH Raineylane’s Simply Irresistible “Iris” and Alcher Gentry Cabaret V TMAC “Shimmer”.
Herrin said bystanders saw smoke coming from the RV’s vents and then attempted to get inside the car, but failed to do so because of all the smoke and flames.
Herrin also revealed that by the time firefighters arrived at 2:45 PM, “flames had taken over about 50 percent of the vehicle.”
The accident has broken the hearts of many people, especially from the dog community.
Brandi Munden of the AKC told CNN, “We are aware of the tragic incident that occurred in the parking lot at the Tampa Fairgrounds in which dogs perished, and our hearts are with those affected, both human and canine.”
Many dog lovers and owners alike are sharing their condolences and are even raising money for the handlers through a GoFundMe fundraiser.
Beth Henderson Downey, one of Iris’ breeders, wrote on Facebook, “We had special plans for Iris that would have continued her lines and kept mine alive as well. Now those dreams have been torn away in an 8 minute tragedy and far worse, Iris and the other 4 dogs who perished will never be home.”
She continued saying, “Hearts will mend yet never fully heal but the prayers and support of friends and family are comforting in this time of incredible pain and heartbreak.”
No humans were reportedly injured in the accident, and no other RVs were affected by the fire.
Herrin revealed that the investigation is still ongoing regarding the specific cause of the fire, but believed that it was all an accident.
AKC’s All-Breed Dog Show was scheduled to begin Wednesday, June 14, and run through the weekend at the Florida State Fairgrounds.