Woman, 86, who lived with 37 dogs dies in horrific house fire, firefighters could only save 9 puppies
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: An elderly woman and 28 dogs were killed when a house in north Phoenix caught fire Saturday evening, October 22. Phoenix fire departments responded to a report of a house fire near Bell Road and 39th Avenue on Saturday at 12.45 pm. The 86-year-old woman was rescued by firefighters from her home and taken to the hospital, where she later died from her wounds. According to Phoenix police investigators, there were roughly 37 dogs discovered in the house, many of which were kept in metal cages.
Firefighters were able to rescue only nine dogs and transport them to a humane society for care. The other 28 dogs did not survive, reported 12 News. Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.
Ed Persival, one of the woman's neighbors, said he was in his front yard when he noticed something was off. Speaking to 12 News, Persival said, "Suddenly I saw black smoke coming from the house. The first thing I did, I just shot out and started yanking my garden house, trying to do what I can." He said that other neighbors also hurried to help. "Because I know there was an elderly lady there and there were several puppies that she breeds and makes an income of." According to several neighbors, the 86-year-old woman had been breeding Toy Poodles for many years.
According to the 12 News report, the elderly woman was charged with injurious animal hoarding. Friday night, the outlet noticed several dog kennels outside the house that were overflowing with animal waste. Devastated Persival said, "She’s not doing well, it sucks." No firefighter was hurt. MEAWW will be adding details as it is a developing article.
In a similar incident that took place last year, fire officials said as many as 75 dogs at the Ponderosa Pet Resort in Georgetown, a city of about 67,000 people north of Austin, died from smoke inhalation after the fire broke out around in September last year, NBC News reported. City's fire chief John Sullivan had said that despite their prompt action, they couldn't save one life. There was no indication that the cause of the fire is criminal. Sullivan had said, "We want answers, and we want answers now, but we need to go through a process of identifying clearly what caused this fire so we can better learn from this and help prevent a future tragedy from occurring."