Princeton man loses livelihood in barn fire - KMSP-TV

Princeton, Minn. breeder loses 23 hunting dogs in barn fire

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PRINCETON, Minn. (KMSP) -

John Kim can barely bring himself to look at the charred rubble of his Princeton, Minn. barn and kennels.

"What can I do? I have to keep myself calm down and I have to pray for them," Kim said. "Feel so sorry for taking their life away."

He raised his treasured hunting dogs, German Short Hairs, English Setters and French Brittanys. He had 23 canines, including 10 young pups when a fire ripped through the barn last week, destroying everything.

"I feel like I lost my family," Kim said. "A couple nights, I cried. I couldn't get it out of my mind. (My) heart really hurts...really hurts."

Kim moved to Minnesota 40 years ago and his love for hunting took off in a state known for its great outdoors. The South Korean who still flies the flag on his Princeton area property eventually found a niche to bring a little Minnesota to his native country.

He began training and breeding hunting dogs and then delivered them to his Asian customers. He lost his latest batch in the fire.

"I love training the dogs," Kim said. "Dogs are my friends. It's sad. Real, real sad."

The fire department estimated the physical loss at more than $80,000, and, compounding his grief, he now has a giant insurance issue.

Kim recently built a new home and new barn on the property and somehow, the barn slipped through the cracks. A week after the fire, he still doesn't have the heart to break the news to the Korean hunters who count on his dogs and his training.

"I didn't tell anybody yet because people are waiting for some dogs. And it's gone," Kim said. "I'm ashamed to tell them what happened."

A fundraising effort has been established to help the Kim family. You can help "raise the barn" at http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/raise-the-barn/158549

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