TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A bee attack killed two dogs at an east side home Saturday afternoon.
Tucson Fire firefighters responded to a call about the bee attack around 12:30 p.m., TFD Public Information Officer Barrett Baker said. The house was in the 5600 block of E. Fairmount St. near the Speedway and Craycroft intersection.
The dogs' owner, Lawrence Rios, called 911 when he and his roommate came home to find a swarm of bees in their yard.
"The next thing I know the bees are coming after us, they're attacking us, me and my roommate," Rios said.
Both men ran away from the house but were concerned about Rios' dogs, Gypsy and Atlas.
Firefighters arrived and sprayed foam in the yard to clear the bees. Rios later found his dogs in the yard, but they were not moving.
"I rushed them to the vet and they were both dead. These were both 100-pound dogs. Big dogs," Rios said.
Baker said firefighters were unable to find a hive but Rios called an exterminator who found a hive hidden inside a concrete wall behind his yard. Rios claims a neighbor initially plugged the hive, which Rios said caused the bees to swarm.
"From my understanding, you're not supposed to do that because it's very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. If you seal up a bee hive, the bees will go crazy and they'll attack. So they ended up attacking my dogs," Rios said.
Traces of blood on the home's exterior led Rios to believe his dogs struggled to find cover during the attack.
"I've seen the claw missing on his paw, he had gashes all over his head trying to escape from the backyard to get away from the bees. And the other one was really swollen," Rios said.
Rios was not stung but his roommate was stung on the forehead.
"They were definitely not your average bee because most of them they're not like that unless you really mess with them but these bees were a whole other breed," said Robby DeCesari.
It has not been confirmed whether the bees were Africanized honey bees, commonly known as "killer bees."