Five dogs found dead in overnight Valrico house fire

- Five dogs were found dead after a house fire on Tuesday night.

Hillsborough County firefighters responded to a fire call at the Almost Home Pet Resort located at 514 N. Street Cloud Avenue in Valrico, where a home located on the property caught fire. The home is separate from where the resort pets are kept. There were no injuries to the customer's pets.

However, inside the home were the resort owner's dogs. Five were found dead.

"I came back at 8:30 p.m. to find smoke billowing out of the side and the fire trucks were here," said Betsy Hicka, the owner. "The firefighters said they came within five minutes or so and it was too late."

Only one dog survived. Her name is Savannah.

"This is my youngest one, and she was in heat. I couldn't leave her with my male unattended," Hicka said. "She was here at the kennel. So that's why she's the only one I have now out of six."

She said she had to head to a meeting at the Bloomingdale Library on Tuesday evening. Before she left, she told her dogs to be good.

Firefighters received the call around 8:30 p.m. When fire units arrived, smoke and flames were coming from the home. The fire was under control in about 30 minutes, according to a press release.

The majority of the damage was contained to the kitchen, but there is heat and smoke damage throughout the home.

The five dogs were turned over to animal control. There were no reported injuries to humans.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

According to Almost Home Pet Resort's website, the facility was built in 1992. It provides boarding for dogs, cats, birds and other small pets.

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