32 horses killed in stable fire

  • Thirty-two horses have been killed in a stable fire (not pictured) in Chicago, USA.

    Firefighters from Crystal Lake rescue service were called out to the blaze at the Valley View Acres horse boarding facility just before 11pm on Saturday (22 November).

    Five horses that had escaped the blaze were found in a nearby field unharmed.

    The horses were owned by the Bauman family and others were being boarded at the stables. They included showjumpers, hunters and riding horses, many were Dutch warmbloods, thoroughbreds and Hanoverians.

    Mrs Bauman had been at an Illinois Hunter Jumper Association banquet on the night the fire started. Her two sons returned home early and later saw the stable was on fire.

    The stables had no fire hydrants so first responders called for extra manpower, equipment and water tenders.

    Fire departments from 27 surrounding areas helped put out the blaze.

    One firefighter suffered minor injuries while helping put out the fire and was treated at a local hospital but no-one else was hurt.

    The damage including the loss of the horses is estimated to be over $1 million.

    Both the stables and the horses were insured and the cause of the fire is being investigated.

    Amber Bauman said she was particularly heartbroken by the loss of Eve, a quarter horse cross thoroughbred she had owned for 35 years.

    “She pulled the carriage at my wedding, I rode her in a homecoming parade, my kids grew up riding her…It’s like saying goodbye to what’s left of your childhood,” she told Chicago Tribune.

    This is the second fire to claim several equine lives in the US this month.

    On Tuesday 11 November, 17 horses died in a fire at Smithfield Stables near Edwardsburg in Michigan.

    Around 75 firefighters attended the blaze. As the stables were in such a remote location firefighers had to travel more than a mile to access water to bring back to the barn.

    The entire barn was demolished and all the horses inside died.

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