Dog rescue group asks for public's help after fire

ROY, Wash. -- The president of a local non-profit dog rescue group is mourning the loss of two dogs after a fire destroyed her home.

The home, which is located along 39th Avenue South in Roy, served as the headquarters for Second Chance Dogs. It burned to the ground on Tuesday afternoon.

"I immediately looked a tthe garage, and I could see windows ere black and the smoke was starting to come out," said Diana Crimi, who owns the home. "I went running from the garage around the back yard calling for dogs. I was just calling for names."

The fire broke out shortly before Crimi returned home from visiting a neighbor, she said.

"I came running up and the roof was collapsing down there. There was fire all over, and I could still hear popping and explosions in the garage," said Crimi.

Crimi said she was taking care of nine dogs as part of her work with Second Chance Dogs. The group takes in dogs that have been abandoned, abused, or neglected, fixes them up, then works to find them new homes with foster families in the area, she said.

Crimi said she went inside her home several times Tuesday to try to get all of the dogs out.

"I started to go back in a third time, and somebody came up from behind me and grabbed my arm and said 'You can't go in there.' And I said 'Look!' And you could see Lucy at the door and she was just like that. And I said 'Look at that. I can't leave her.'"

Crimi said she's devastated over the loss of her home, but she's even more upset that all of the dogs couldn't be saved. The fire also destroyed much of the group's dog food, crates, kennels, beds, and other supplies, Crimi said. A van Crimi used to get the animals around was also destroyed.

"I guess my heart is broken for the dogs. That's what I see," Crimi said.

Six out of the seven dogs that made it out of the home safely are now being cared for by a foster family several doors down, Crimi said. The remains of Belle, who was staying in Crimi's garage, still haven't been found, she added.

"Little Horace is buried here," Crimi said while pointing to a spot in her back yard.

A firefighter carried Horace, who also died in the fire, out in a blanket after the fire was put out and buried him in Crimi's back yard, she said.

"He said Belle and Horace just kinda closed their eyes and went to sleep. They never burned. They never knew what happened. And so, that was a comfort to me to know that. But it still breaks my heart that I couldn't save them," Crimi said.

The Pierce County Fire Inspector said the cause of the fire still hasn't been determined. A more thorough investigation is needed, he said.

To make a donation to Second Chance Dogs, click on the group's website. A GoFundMe page has also been setup to help the group.

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