MIAMI -- As a raging fire quickly engulfed a Little Havana strip mall Wednesday night, firefighters made a heartbreaking discovery: dozens of bulldog puppies had died of smoke inhalation, WSVN reports.
Miami Fire Rescue Lieutenant Ignatius Carroll said, "We noticed that a business here sells puppies and unfortunately we had numerous puppies inside that did not make it."
The 30 dead French and English bulldogs were found inside Beverly Hills Puppies, whose breeders say they are "devoted" to "increasing the quality of life and health" of their dogs, which they refer to as part of their family, according to the store's web site.
The Miami Herald reports that the blaze started at a Fancy Beads store in the same strip mall and that it took 40 firefighters to stop the flames.
Martin Leon, owner of Beverly Hills Puppies, told NBC 6 that the has no insurance.
Each puppy costs nearly $2,000, according to the those listed for sale on the Beverly Hills Puppies web site.
"We have devoted our energy and love to increasing the quality of life and health of our English Bulldog and French Bulldog puppies," the store's web site states. "Our puppies … are a part of our family. ... All of our puppies are given special attention and are treated with love and care until a new family takes on the role of becoming their caretaker."
But dozens of puppies will never enjoy that happy ending.
"That smoke filled up that entire building pretty quickly," Lt. Ignatius Carroll told Miami New Times. "There was no way to save those puppies."
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.