Stable Fire Kills 35 Show Horses At Rossville Farm

Reported by: Webb Wright
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Updated: 6/21/2013 7:19 pm
      Fire investigators sift through what is left of two large stables at Happy Valley Farms. Last night's fire too intense to save 35 valuable show horses.
     "We saw flames jumping up and over the trees from the main highway out across the football field and the practice fields and then you could just here things exploding," said witness Hannah Williams.
     "They always try to save any life if possible. The one barn was 100 percent involved and the other one you know even the second barn had early collapse to it. So at that time its just ruled unsaveable the structure and what ever is inside it at the time for the safety of the firefighters," added Walker County Fire Chief Randy Camp.
      One trainer talked about the desperate attempt to save the world class horses.
      "It's a dumb thing to do but you just do it. The smoke was like chest high and so thick and black and you could only go so far and then the heat started getting to us and we just had to abandon trying to get anybody out," said trainer Donnie Byburn.
     One casualty, thirty year old stallion Merchant Prince, was a former National Harness Champion. His sire, four year old Merchant Heir was the only horse to survive.
     "We came out and in about ten second he came out on his own. He wanted to come right back in so we had to shut a door real quick and then four of us had to push him away from going back and finally herded him down a driveway and then took about 30 minutes to catch him after that," said Byburn.
     Early estimates have the damage around 4 million dollars. As the investigation continues, lightening in the area a possible cause.
     "There was lightening in the area, there was thunder in the area, storms occuring, that you look at. It's not saying that that's the cause of the fire, but a good investigator is going to look at all avenues or whatever that could have caused the fire so they are not fixated on one particular thing," said Camp.
      Fire investigators still have not determined the cause of the fire. Of the four million dollars in damages, three million of that has been attributed to the value of the horses. The stables estimated at one point two million dollars worth of damage.
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mamac - 6/21/2013 6:47 PM
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Oh, my gosh..I hate to hear this ..So, sad...Poor horses ...
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