SANTA CLARA DOG SHOW FIRE
It is a dog show disaster of the worst kind. When a handler’s rig catches on fire, beloved show dogs can be lost within minutes. It also turns ordinary people into heroes.
February 21, 2011 7:02
reprinted with permission from the author
Gustavo Molinari handed his exhibit off to someone ringside and ran to the scene at full speed. That exhibit was never shown. He suffered significant burns on his hands from pulling crates out of the truck and fighting the fire with the extinguisher he had on board.
A parking attendant also suffered burns on his hands from pulling crates out of the truck to get dogs to safety. EVERY SINGLE DOG was saved from the fire, and was pulled from the truck. However it is with great sadness, Gustavo reports that one dog had to be put down after the fact.
At the time the fire broke out - Gustavo's assistant was at the truck – at no time, as is his habit, were dogs left unattended at his setup. I can tell you, Gustavo keeps impeccable care of the dogs in his charge, and the safety and happiness of those dogs are his first priority – over anything and everything. I can also tell you that Gustavo is absolutely devastated by this incident, and the tremendous sadness in his voice is palpable. He asks you each to kindly bear with him as he regroups - and for the time being his facebook page has been shut down to allow him a breath to recover from this horrible incident.
This was a new rig for him - and the fire, according to the fire department's investigation was an electrical fire that started in the engine and worked its way back to engulf the truck.
The picture no one has - was the scene after all was said and done -roughly thirty fire extinguishers around the truck. EVERYONE dropped what they were doing and helped. It is my editorial opinion that the heroism started with Gustavo and that parking attendant and extends to every single individual who set their own priorities aside to assist. Dog people are AMAZING. I can tell you without equivocation that I would place a dog in Gustavo's care tomorrow with complete trust and confidence in him. I know those of you who love and respect him would do the same.
If you see him, please tell him how much you support him and care about what happened to him. I think it would mean the world to him as so much conversation has occurred - errant conversation - that is far from the facts of the situation. There have been horrible tragic incidents like this over the years with dog people - and Gustavo and those who helped should be commended for doing absolutely everything to save every dog.
The outcome could have been much different in another set of circumstances. This is a factual account of what has occurred and the truth needs to offset the misinformation that is out there. I think it is safe to say this is anyone's worst nightmare - please be compassionate - it could have been you. Please keep Gustavo and those with dogs attached to this event in your thoughts and prayers. One is watching from heaven and at peace, all the rest are fine and safe tonight.