12 horses killed in barn fire
11 horses rescued; 2 critically hurt
ACCIDENT. JOHN DZENITIS IS LIVE IN LOXAHATCHEE WHERE THE SURVIVING CARE. JOHN? JOHN: THEY ARE SAYING THIS WAS AN ELECTRICAL MALFUNCTION THAT SPARKED THE POWER METER. THROUGHOUT THE STABLE. >> MY HEART IS BROKEN. I’M DOING EVERYTHING I CAN TO HOLD MYSELF TOGETHER. JOHN: SAM STATHIS GOT THE CALL HIS RACING STABLE AT THE SOUTH FLORIDA TROTTING CENTER WAS ON FIRE. >> THIS PLACE LIT LIKE THE FOURTH OF JULY. JOHN: TWELVE HORSES WERE KILLED IN THE BLAZE. THE FIRE APPARENTLY STARTED IN A STORAGE AREA AT THE END OF THE STABLE, WHERE THEY STORE HAY. >> HORSES WON’T RUN OUT OF A FIRE, SO EVEN THOUGH THEY OPENED THE GATES AND TRIED TO GET THEM OUT, THAT’S THEIR HOUSE, THAT’S THEIR SECURITY. JOHN: SEVERAL OF THE HORSES DIEE RIGHT THERE IN THEIR STALLS. BUT THANKS TO THE HEROICS OF SOME WORKERS WHO LIVE ON SITE, ELEVEN HORSES WERE RESCUED. TWO OF THEM WERE IN CRITICAL CONDITION. THEY WERE BROUGHT TO REID AND ASSOCIATES EQUINE HOSPITAL IN LOXAHATCHEE. WHERE THE HORSES ARE BEING TREATED IN HYPERBARIC CHAMBERS. MEANWHILE, STATHIS SAYS THE HORSES WON’T DIE IN VAIN. HE’S LOOKING INTO SPRINKLER SYSTEMS AND OTHER FIRE PREVENTION MEASURES. AND HE WANTS TO SPREAD THE WORD. THE ASHES.
Twelve horses were killed and 11 are recovering after a fire gutted a racing stable early Wednesday at the South Florida Trotting Center off State Road 7 in Boynton Beach.
Sam Stathis, who owned one of the harness racehorses that died, said the fire appeared to have started in a storage area at the end of the barn where piles of hay were stored.
Farm manager Ann Marie Daley said several workers who lived on site tried to rescue the horses.
“Horses won’t run out of a fire, so even though they (workers) opened the gates and tried to get them out, that’s their house. That’s their security,” Daley said.
Several of the horses died in their stalls.
The heat was so intense that the barn’s roof collapsed.
Two of the 11 horses that were rescued were listed in critical condition Wednesday evening. Two others were in sub-critical condition, and seven were in stable condition, according to veterinarians treating them at Reid and Associates Equine Hospital in Loxahatchee.
Some of the horses were being treated in a hyperbaric chamber, which raises oxygen levels and helps burns heal.
Stathis said the horses that were killed in the fire did not die in vain. He said he is looking into sprinkler systems and other fire-prevention measures.
“We’re going to race right out of the ashes,” Stathis said. “I’m going to leave the barn as is and teach the young students, the next generation, what can happen in that barn.”
Fire investigators said it was an electrical malfunction that blew the power meter, which in turn set a large pile of hay on fire.