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Barn Fire Claims Horse; 29 Saved

Published: December 6, 2016 3:51 pm ET

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One horse lost its life, but 29 others were luckily able to escape when a serious fire reduced a large barn to smoldering ash this past weekend.

The Des Moines Register was the first to report that a barn at the Maffitt Lake Equestrian Center in Madison County, Iowa burned to the ground this past Friday (December 2).

The barn at the horse show facility was already collapsing when fire crews received word of the situation at roughly 5:40 p.m. West Des Moines Fire Marshal Mike Whitsell said that flames could be seen 10 miles away.

Whitsell said that getting water to the barn was an issue, as hydrants were not located nearby. Although, he did state that people were evacuating the horses, while others were seen sprinting as far as one and a half miles from the blaze. Roughly 100 volunteers had searched the surrounding areas for horses that were lucky enough to get away from the fire.

A follow-up article which appeared on the website of The Daily Progress confirmed that one horse lost its life in the blaze, another was being treated at a local veterinary college, and one was still missing at the time.

"Within a matter of 10 minutes (of the fire), so many people from the horse community showed up with buckets, with halters, with lead ropes, anything," Libby Hott told kcci.com. "They said, 'What can we do? What can we do?' So we were catching horses that were loose."

Libby Hott co-owns the facility with Tim Hott and Melinda Antisdel. The barn was a total loss. Fire officials were unsure of what caused the blaze.

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the connections of the horse that lost its life, and wish the other horse that is a recuperating a quick and complete recovery.

(With files from The Des Moines Register, The Daily Progress and kcci.com)


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