Minneapolis neighborhood struck by tragedies after dog mauling

A north Minneapolis neighborhood is reeling after back-to-back traumatic events on the very same block - a horrific dog attack that severely injured a mom and her two young kids next door and then, three nights later, a devastating fire at the home of the dog owners.

"Just horrifying," said long-time neighborhood watch captain Kim Smith. "We were already traumatized, and then we had a second horrific, traumatizing event."

At this point, Smith said Lyn Park neighborhood residents along Harry Davis Lane and Hall Curve are treating the dog attack and house fire as two separate tragedies striking households right next door to one another.

"We have always been a tight-knit community. That is why these two events are so horrific," a shaken Smith told FOX 9’s Paul Blume during an interview outside her home on Memorial Day.

In home security footage obtained by FOX 9, you can hear the agonizing shrieks of a mother screaming out for help from her fenced-in backyard on Wednesday evening. A pair of dogs from right next door had gotten into the family’s yard, and attacked the woman’s two young children who were jumping on a trampoline.

She did everything she could to protect her kids, but in doing so, suffered what was first believed to be life-threatening injuries.

"I would have given my life for my child. And that is what that mom was prepared to do. She went in there and did everything she could to protect her children," Smith said.

In the video, you can see neighbors rushing to the family’s aide before the dogs’ owner pulled up and got the animals away.

Smith helped launch a GoFundMe for the mauling victims, 3- and 8-year-old boys – both out of the hospital and home with loved ones. Their mother Angel Jackson remains hospitalized.

"She took the brunt because she was covering her child and trying to fight off these dogs," explained Smith. "And they just started ripping into her arms, her legs."

While Minneapolis Animal Care and Control as well as the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) launched a formal investigation into the attack, and the dogs were immediately impounded. 

But just 72 hours later, Smith and her neighbors were shocked by what happened next – a major fire broke out inside the home and garage of the dogs’ owner. 

Video from that same surveillance camera captures firefighters rushing to the scene to extinguish the devastating Saturday night blaze. The Minneapolis Fire Chief told FOX 9 on Monday, he is still waiting on investigative reports before releasing any information about what caused it.

"We cannot assume anything because we do not know how that happened," said Smith. "And so, we are just saying we have had two separate events. Fire investigators will do their job and then they will figure it out."

"We are just traumatized by the situation," Smith said. "We are trying to do everything we can for both families."

Family tells FOX 9 that Angel Jackson has endured at least five surgeries so far, and her loved ones are extremely concerned about her arms from the dog bites.

The two dogs, which were pit bulls, were euthanized, the City of Minneapolis confirmed to FOX 9 on Tuesday. 

FOX 9 was waiting to hear more from city officials, but anecdotally, Blume was told by several in the neighborhood that the animals have gotten out of their fenced yard and frightened residents in the past, leading to a number of nuisance animal complaints.