A horse training center owner had to live through the nightmare of seeing almost two dozen of his horses being engulfed by flames early Saturday morning when a fire started in one of his barns. According to the initial reports, as many as 23 horses died, after a fire broke out at approximately 1:15 a.m. on December 17th.
The reporters on the scene took interviews of Eric Reed, the horse training center owner, and six other employees who rushed into the inferno in a desperate attempt to save as many horses as possible.
“They were heroes, the people who work for me”, said Eric Reed.
He described how the employees ran into the smoking wooden barn, risking their lives for the animals trapped inside. According to Mr. Reed’s statement, the fire spread out quickly and the only thing anyone could see was a cloud of dark smoke and raging flames. Only 13 out of 36 horses present in the barn at the time the fire broke out survived thanks to Mr. Reed and his employees’ efforts. Together with the destruction of the barn and the death of his horses, the owner estimates his losses at around $2 million.
Furthermore, most of the horses who perished in the fire were yearlings. Others were valuable assets to Mr. Reeds, bred for racing. According to the owner, one of the horses who died in the fire, a 3-year-old exemplary, recently won $100,000 in a race. Furthermore, another one was scheduled to race on Monday, December 19th in Ohio.
At the time of the fire, there were 50 other horses on the center’s grounds. However, they were kept elsewhere, so they are out of any danger. In total, the 60-acre Mercury Equine horse training center has 160 stalls packed in three large barns.
As of this point, it is yet unclear what started the fire. However, the fire officials have launched an investigation into the matter. In Mr. Reed’s opinion, the fire could have been caused by a lightning that struck the barn on Saturday, as severe thunderstorm were sweeping through the area.
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