Horse barn fire breaks out in Catawba Co. | Pets
VALE, NC (WBTV)- When the call went out to respond to a barn fire Monday morning, firefighters knew they were in for a battle long before they arrived on the scene.
"I could see the smoke from ten miles away," said one firefighter as he donned the gear to get to work on the fire.
Dozens of firefighters from several departments came to help but the flames had gone too far by the time they arrived to be able to save the structure.
"It was a wonderful barn for show horses," said Propst Fire Department Captain Brian Leonhardt. Normally the barn would house 8 Paso Fino horses. "They are special Italian show horses with a special gait," said Lori Baker, daughter of the barn owner.
Baker said, as luck would have it, the horses had been taken out to the pasture over the weekend and were to be left there for a few days. If they had still been in the barn when the fire broke out, Baker doesn't think anyone would have been able to rescue them.
The fire destroyed the barn, with a preliminary dollar value placed at $250,000. That figure is expected to climb as equipment and other items that were destroyed are included in the total.
Investigators are not sure how it started but may not be able to sift through the rubble for a day or so.
One big problem for firefighters was that the closest hydrant was a mile and a half away.
Water had to be shuttled in by taker trucks. Another issue they had to deal with was the heat and humidity. Medical crews checked every firefighter as they came off the fire lines.
Anyone with elevated blood pressure or and signs of heat exhaustion were ordered to stay in the shade and receive treatment. Officials said despite the heat, no major problems were reported.
Firefighters said this could have been worse. "As long as it is not in triple digits we should be all right," said one man.
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