48 dogs evacuated after fire at Midlothian canine training and boarding facility

Posted at 11:36 AM, Dec 03, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-03 19:24:24-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Eight workers and 48 dogs were evacuated from Tori's K9 Adventure in Midlothian when a building in the dog training center's complex caught fire. No workers nor animals were inside the actual Bellson Park Drive building that burned.

"Fire Marshals determined the fire started as a result of a malfunctioning bathroom exhaust fan,"Chesterfield Fire and EMS spokesman Lt. Jason Elmore said. "The fire spread rapidly throughout the building due to high wind conditions."

Jason Tooley captured cell phone video of dog training center going up in flames.

And then jumped in to help.

"Just complete chaos…I mean it's one of those adrenaline things you know," said Tooley.
"Fire crews arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the building. It took fire crews approximately 50 minutes to get the fire under control," Chesterfield Fire and EMS spokesman Lt. Jason Elmore said. "The building suffered significant damage, but there were no injuries reported."

All dogs were reported safe, and at the Lyman Automotive shop nearby.

Jason McCombs rushed to get his dog Saltie.

"I didn't really have a whole lot of time. My wife just called and said, hey, there's a fire and we went," said McCombs.

The owner of Tori's K9 Adventure, Tori Trent, said they had just expanded a couple of months ago,"all the blood, sweat we put into it in the past couple of months to look at it that way is very hard."

Trent said everyone was rattled.  But their evacuation plan was flawless.

"We're a training facility.  So, we have dogs here that are not friendly with other dogs.  We have dogs here that are not friendly dog to all people. So, to move everyone in three minutes without a dog fight. Not a person getting bit,  I'm so proud of everyone," said Trent.

While the center's owner is thankful there was no loss of life, she wants the public to know, safety is their number one goal.

"I believe we that this will make my team stronger because now we have been through something devastating together," said Trent.

Trent told CBS 6, they plan to rebuild.  No word on how much it will cost or how long it will take.

She says her dog daycare center, located in a separate building will reopen tomorrow.

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