The fire service is treating a fire (not pictured) which killed two horses at a farm building in Churwell near Leeds earlier this month (16 May) as suspicious.

Six fire engines from local stations were called to the blaze at 11pm on the Saturday night.

Firefighters used water jets to prevent the fire from reaching the first two horses they found.

The horses were not injured by the fire, but the flames had blocked their exit route.

Two Staffordshire bull terrier crosses were discovered at the back of the stables and were also retrieved unharmed.

However, as the firefighters progressed they discovered a further stable area where two horses had died.

The horses’ owners, George Murrell and Judy Lee, were at the yard but were unable to save the two-year-old Arabian colts called Diablo and Eric. Three ducks also died in the fire.

“It is always very sad to see animals die as a result of a fire,” said group manager Richard Veti, who was the incident commander at the scene.

“We did everything we could to save them but unfortunately two of the horses had already perished. Fortunately the other two horses, along with the two dogs that were saved, were unharmed as a result of the fire.”

It’s sickening,” George Murrell, 37, told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “To see them in there being burned alive was absolutely horrible.”

He said Judy has not been able to come down to the yard since the fire.

The two surviving horses have been moved to another yard while the rebuilding work is being carried out.

The fire service said it is treating the fire as suspicious and is liasing with police.