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Community helps Alpine veterinarian who lost clinic and dogs in barn fire

A collection of charred hard drives and lab equipment after a devastating fire destroyed the barn where she ran her business.

SAN DIEGO — Dr. Kim Sergent and her husband, Kevin, are still in shock and devastated, after losing their two dogs, vet equipment, and belongings in a barn fire. 

Sergent is a large animal veterinarian. She sees mostly horses, but also goats, pigs, and the occasional dog or cat. She started All County Equine Services 20 years ago in Alpine. She sees hundreds of horses every year. 

But now decades of work, sits in burnt heaps. A collection of charred hard drives and lab equipment after a devastating fire destroyed the barn where she ran her business. 

She walked into the barn last Thursday and saw smoke.  

“I didn’t hear anything other than one dog barking and I just turned around and ran upstairs and started looking,” said Sergent. 

She was looking for her other two dogs, Tico and Sheba. Her forehead and hair singed because she lingered too long. Too close to the flames. Her assistant kept her from running in to look for them.  

“You stop thinking about your own personal safety to save something. That's what I do,” said Sergent.  

After decades of saving animals, she could not save her own. Firefighters found their bodies. They weren’t burned, but they looked like they had been sleeping.  

They believe they died of smoke inhalation. Tiko, curled up under the desk in the office upstairs. Sheba not far away, in her favorite sleep position on her back. 

“I got to love on them a good hour. Hold my baby in my lap. That was tough," said Sergent.  

In fact, when CBS 8 visited Sergent on Monday, it wasn’t the burned memories on the ground or the blackened barn that upset her as much as losing Tico and Sheba.   

“It’s hard living without them. Really hard,” said Sergent.  

But they must. And move forward. And rebuild. 

Their beautiful, peaceful compound is now without power and internet. The wires that bring electricity and internet to the house are connected through the barn. That electrical panel is destroyed.  

Now, power nor internet can get to the house a few yards behind the barn. 

One of their friends started a GoFundMe page to help support them during this difficult time.  

The GoFundMe says that Dr. Kim is the best and a dear, kind, and giving friend.  

They hope to help them get power back to their house, get their internet up and running, and make sure she has the equipment and supplies she needs to keep helping the horses and their owners around San Diego County. 

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