Camper Fire Kills 2 Therapy Dogs

By Adam Carros

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By Adam Carros

CORALVILLE, Iowa -- A camper fire at Coralville Lake cost one family much more than possessions.

The fire started around four Tuesday afternoon in a camper at the park. The Hotz family came back from a trip to the mall to find the camper burning and knew their two dogs were inside.

"I grabbed an axe and wood splitter from my truck and started breaking windows to get in," said Jeffery Kotz. "We got to the front door and broke out the window and my mom showed up with the keys and opened the door and saw the dogs laying there."

The dogs had already died in the fire by the time Kotz got inside. Bear and Wolf were therapy dogs for Kotz' mother, who suffers from severe depression.

"They went meant the world to her, they slept with her, if she was sick, they were always there," said her son.

"They bark at her or whine at her so she knows they are watching her so she doesn't do something wrong or hurt herself," said her husband, Jeff Kotz.

The camper was destroyed in the fire. Firefighters believe the fire started inside the camper but aren't sure what caused it.

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