5 dogs die in RV fire at Florida State Fairgrounds ahead of American Kennel Club All-Breed Dog Show

By Julie Salomone

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Florida (WFT) — Hillsborough County Fire Department said five dogs died after an RV caught fire at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

The dogs were required to compete in the American Kennel Club’s All-Breed Dog Show. The fire broke out around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday. When firefighters arrived, the motorhome was about 50% in flames. Hillsborough County Fire Department said five boxers died in the blaze.

Susan McQueen is a dog handler and member of the American Kennel Club. She said everyone was devastated by the news.

“The dog part really hits us hard. Dozens of people were trying to save them when they saw the smoke, but it was too late,” Susan McQueen said.

Firefighters said the cause of the blaze was “undetermined” at this time, but the investigation is ongoing. Hillsborough County Fire Department said at this point the fire appeared to be “accidental”.

“There is electricity here, there are hook-ups for motorhomes and, of course, they all have generators too; I don’t know which one or both were in operation at the time,” McQueen said.

Another dog owner has set up a GoFundMe page to help the handler who lost all five boxers. The money will be used to buy another motorhome.

“That’s a really heartfelt answer because everyone feels like, oh my God, that could have been me because there are so many dog ​​show attendees and professional dog handlers traveling in their camper vans. They basically live in their RVs,” she said.

“We are all very solemn. We don’t have the normal mind; we usually kick off a five-day show,” McQueen added.

The AKC All Breed Dog Show kicked off Wednesday, June 14 and will run through Sunday, June 18 at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

If you would like more information or would like to donate, click here: gofundme.com/f/tragic-rv-fire-in-tampa-dog-show?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=unknown&utm_campaign=comms_w869+tragic-rv-fire-in-tampa-dog-show

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