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Holy CRAP!! Barnfire!!

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  • Holy CRAP!! Barnfire!!

    Sweet mother of pearl. COTHers, I need your advice on how the bleep to express my gratitude to two phenomenal horsewomen who literally came to my mare's rescue. I don't know if they'd want to be named, so let's call them Tina and Sharon.

    I was leaving in appointment about an hour away from home when I got a call from a good friend Tina, who lives at the horse property next door to where I board my mare. She was frantic, saying the barn right next to Ana was on fire. (This was a former horse barn that, with a new owner, was now just used as storage.) Ana's stall is right next to the property fence, and this barn was just on the other side. Tina, who has an injured knee, couldn't climb the fence and didn't have a key to open the property gate. She was calling to see if I could come open it; in the meantime, another friend of mine who lives there, Sharon, hopped the fence to get Ana out of her stall. (Before calling me, she had called emergency services--the fire department got there very quickly and were already there by that time.) At this point, the barn was completely engulfed in flames (she said they were easily ten foot high), and Sharon felt a "wall of heat" as she walked up to the stall. She also said the metal gate was so hot, it burned her hands to open it.

    Ana was a bit nervous and dancey, but not panicked, though something(s) in the barn started exploding in the inferno and that agitated her. Sharon opened the gate, Ana bolted out (the property is fenced, so she wasn't loose) and ran to the opposite corner of the property. There, she trotted and snorted before relaxing and starting to graze. (That's my mare--"AH AH AH! ...Ooh, is that food?") Both Sharon and Tina praised Ana as being a very, very good girl considering--heh, they said they were more panicked than she was.

    I had an hour drive to consider just how bad it could be, and I was surprised when I got there that this was, in fact, pretty much as bad as it could be without being a true, tragic disaster. If Tina had not happened to be down at her barn at the time, no one may have seen this fire until it spread up the hill and to the homebound elderly property owner's house and beyond, with the horses below left to their pain and panic. It was 102 today and insanely dry, so there was plenty of fuel for this fire to take off and cause serious destruction to property and life.

    I'm not being dramatic--I keep thinking I'm exaggerating, but then I revisit the photos. Take a look:

    What remains of the neighbor's barn. The partially burned wood platform on the lower left was actually on our side of the property, inbetween the fenceline and my mare's stall. It had been laid there as storage--and I'm wondering if it happened to [artiall shield her from the flames.

    To the left, my mare's stall. To the right, the remnants of the barn. That's an extra pipe corral panel there, not a fence. The white you see is the foam from the firefighters. You can also see how the grass on our side was scorched quite a ways into the property.

    Partially melted wheelbarrow. You can see in the upper right where it had been sitting during the fire--there's a rectangular area of unscorched earth.

    Another, wider shot of Ana's stall on the left, and the burned barn at the right.

    I'm not sure what that is on the right, but that's a melted tarp--used to shield from rain in the winter--on the left.

    Ana looking at me from the formerly empty stall a few spaces down, wondering what I'm doing in her old stall.

    Ana, adjusted and content and pretty as ever, while we're the frazzled ones.

    When I went back to feed this evening, I decided to hose her off in case there was residue from the fire. I'm glad I did--the moment the water hit her, there was a STRONG smell of soot and smoke. Ick. Also, washing off the dirty spots revealed what appears to be either a burn or a singe mark on her flank. It isn't sore, just definitely missing hair. Yowsa.

    Extra carrots for her tonight, that's for sure. And a Corona for me. Or wine. Or both.

    Edited to add: Oh, and for the record, we're all pretty darn certain of the cause of the fire. Let's just say kids, don't play with fire. M'kay? (It's under investigation--there were several detectives on site in addition to police officers and fire officials. We don't believe it was malicious. Until it's official, that's all I'm comfortable saying for now. I will let you know when something Official is known.)
    SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
    CP Trilogy 2002-2015
    My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie

  • #2
    Wow, that is scary! Glad your horse is alright. I thought there were rules about how close buildings can be to a property line?


    • #3
      Wow that is scary! So glad your friends were there to give you a "happy ending"!
      Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


      • #4
        Giant sigh of relief, what a nightmare for everyone. Hope you catch the culprits.


        • #5
          SO grateful everyone is okay!!!
          a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


          • #6
            Horse people are truely the greatest!


            • #7
              But you asked how to thank these kind, brave neighbors.

              You do that in person. You tell them how much it means to you that they would risk their own lives to save your animal. You let them know that if you can do anything to return such a large favor, you'd welcome it.

              And then you walk around with the sense that you have something to "pay forward" when you see the next guy in trouble.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat


              • #8
                Yikes! That would have been scary! Glad Ana and everyone else is safe.

                A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!


                • #9
                  Wow!! What a horrific thing! Thank God for true "good neighbors"--and thank God your mare is OK.

                  I loff my Quarter horse clique

                  I kill threads dead!


                  • #10
                    Fire is beyond scary, glad that no one was really hurt there.

                    I have been in two barn fires, that were under control before the whole large barns went up in flame, both with over 100 horses in them.

                    You may be shakey yet for a while when you think about it.
                    It is normal, the adrenaline keeps kicking in with the scary thoughts.


                    • #11
                      Talk about just in the nick of time! If I were you, I think I might get the vet out (or at least talk to the vet) to check her over, especially her airways and lung function considering the amount of soot you washed off her.


                      • #12
                        So glad everything turned out well for you, Ana and her rescuers!


                        • #13
                          So glad Ana is alright and it wasn't any worse. They have already said it is going to be a bad fire season this year and have warned locals in the canyon areas to be prepared, as the Santa Ana winds will be kicking up soon. I HATE this time of year....


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lauruffian View Post
                            Sweet mother of pearl. COTHers, I need your advice on how the bleep to express my gratitude to two phenomenal horsewomen who literally came to my mare's rescue.


                            Extra carrots for her tonight, that's for sure. And a Corona for me. Or wine. Or both.
                            So glad to hear your mare is safe and no other animals or people were injured. WHEW!

                            As a thank you gesture, I'm thinking a decent bottle of champagne each and maybe a gift card to a restaurant, or spa/massage/manicure place, or maybe to a nice shop. Maybe a gift certificate for a nice pair of breeches (Equissentials?) or for a tack shop. But something more on the *extravagant* side than the practical so they can splurge a bit on themselves rather than buy feed or fly spray.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                              Fire is beyond scary, glad that no one was really hurt there.

                              I have been in two barn fires, that were under control before the whole large barns went up in flame, both with over 100 horses in them.
                              my big barn (one acre one roof) caught fire a few years ago on a 9F night...it's not a sight I need to see again

                              You may be shakey yet for a while when you think about it.
                              It is normal, the adrenaline keeps kicking in with the scary thoughts.
                              a little off track but I read a few years back that bad memories cause chemical "burns" in the brain and the nerves associated with the reliving are the bodies way of fixing the "burned" spot...so feeling the nerves out and just going with it helps it heal

                              Tamara in TN
                              Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                              I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.


                              • #16
                                I'm so happy everyone is out and ok. After losing my mare in a fire it is not something I wish for anyone to experience.
                                University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2012
                                Member of the Asthmatic Riders & "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" cliques


                                • #17
                                  Glad to hear that all are well and that you have such vigilant neighbors. Definitely something along the lines of a "splurge" type item for the rescuers, delivered in person with a nice note and heartfelt thanks.

                                  And I would call the vet about what to watch out for or do WRT to her respiratory system.
                                  The Evil Chem Prof