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Fifteen horses have been killed in a barn fire in Washington State in America.

The blaze broke out at around 7pm on Thursday (12 December) at Eckstein Farms, a boarding stable in Pierce County.

Flames were reported to have been shooting through the roof and the smoke was so thick no one was able to enter the barn. By the time firefighters could gain access all 15 horses stabled in the building had died.

The barn did not have a smoke alarm, only a heat-triggered farm alarm, which due to dust in the barn repeatedly caused false alarms.

Firecrews are currently investigating the cause of the fire.