Every horse owner's worst nightmare. My prayers go out to these poor people.
By KOMO Staff PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. -- Fifteen horses have died in a fire that broke out at a stable near Parkland on Thursday night.
Officials said a 2-alarm fire broke out at Eckstein Stables, LLC in the 13100 block of Bingham Avenue East just before 7 p.m., causing a part of the structure to collapse.
No one was injured aside from the killed horses which were being boarded there.
The owner of the stable said as soon as a heat detector sounded the alarm at 6:56 p.m., fire crews rushed to the scene. The nearest station was just a mile down the road, but by the time they arrived all 15 horses had died.
"This is really hard. This is really hard and I've got a lot of people I've got to explain this to," the stable owner said.
"Horrible, it's horrible. I can't believe it. It's got to be a horrible way to go," said Jessica Seal.
One by one, owners of the horses rushed over to the barn where they had boarded their horses.
Missy Ashbrook lost her horse, Uno.
"He was such a big part of our lives. I just can't process right now that he's gone," she said.
Kristal Derochey lost two of her beloved animals.
"My horses just died. The whole barn went up in flames and nobody made it out," she said.
The stable was packed to the rafters with hay. Even the tiniest spark could have set the whole building ablaze.
Firefighters said they may never know the exact case of the fire, and the news is unsettling for the grief-stricken horse owners. For them, losing their horse is not unlike losing a family member.
"We built our whole life around our horse," Ashbrook said.
Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert
Having worked in barns that went thru fires twice, I would never store more than a few bales in the same barn horses are living, or build with wood.
Not that metal barns can't burn, just not as apt to, if they are managed where combustibles are minimal.
Please, try to build with what we know today to avoid fires and retrofit with fire protection your old barns best you can.
I saw this on the new this morning (I missed last night's news). I am so sad for the owners of the horses, the barn owner, and the firefighters that tried go in but had to pull back due to the heat and size of the fire (it was just too dangerous). I can't imagine losing a horse this way. As someone else said, it must be a horse owner's worst nightmare. My thoughts and prayers are with you all! Major HUGS!!!!
It has been typical over the past few hundred years to store hay in the barn...usually a loft. No blame need be placed for that. In our south and southwest there are more shedrow styles while the midwest and east are typically in one bulding with aisles.
Many barns lack available land to construct a seperate storage facility even if they could afford it. Sometimes there are concerns with transporting the hay from one building to another if there are alot to feed, snow and ice for example. This barn is in a rainy suburban area where land costs are very high.
Newer construction may still place the hay in the same building in a seperate area but many still resort to having to put it in the barns due to space limitations and budget restraints-and an enclosed hay storage area in a rainy or snowy climate costs more then you might think.
It's a trade off that may not be as black and white as it seems.
Jingles to those who lost loved ones.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
I have a friend who lost 5 horses in an arson attack a few years ago.
He's really never got over that. How do you?
I wondered about the hay thing because over here the tendency (and advice) is to store in a well ventilated open sided barn separate from stock and away from other buildings and to mitigate the risk of effects of overheating and combustion.
I know though that our climate is very wet so there's quite a risk of baled hay having a high internal temperature and self igniting.
That's awful about the arson. An accident is bad enough - but a criminal act? Horrific.
Around here some people are starting to use a separate building for hay if they're building a new barn. (horse barn) I think it can reduce the insurance premiums. I remember reading/hearing something storing it 100 feet or more from the barn. (double check me on that because I my memory is fuzzy)
But the climate and cultures vary so dramatically across the US that I couldn't state what is "typical". We've got all sorts of barns around here, including bank barns. Many are multi-species.
Combine hay storage with less than stellar wiring, or a wet bale or two.... poor horses.
Uno was mine. I'm devistated. We all are. We all lost everything, we have nothing left.
Our barn was built like a traditional one, with hay storage in a loft above the stalls. While the hay certainly fed the fire, we don't know how it started.
I can't tell you what a wonderful horse he was, it still hurts too bad. Maybe later.
I don't know if it will be of any comfort to you whatsoever but a barn my vets go to had a fire a couple years ago. One vet told me, through tears, that the horses just quietly went to sleep from the smoke inhalation.
I absolutely hated to write the above but hope that it brings something to the table to know they didn't suffer in the final moment.
May your heart & soul heal and may you all take comfort in knowing your horses knew they were loved.
"Concern for animals is a matter of taking the side of the weak against the strong, something the best people have always done." Harriet Beecher Stowe 1811-1896