14 horses die in Bedford, NH barn fire
BEDFORD, N.H. (WHDH) -- A horse barn was reduced to rubble and ash after a massive fire tore through a New Hampshire farm killing at least 14 of the animals trapped inside.
Eight horses and ponies and one pig survived the fire at Perry Hill Farm, an equestrian academy in Bedford, N.H.
Investigators said flames moved so quickly that it took less than an hour for the 10,000 square-foot building to burn to the ground.
“They were in boxed stalls and so they would have had to have been released,” said Chief Scott Wiggin of the Bedford, N.H. fire department. “There’s no partitions that separate, there’s no way of compartmentalizing the fire. So it just runs from one end of the building to another and it consumes itself rapidly.”
A handful of horses and ponies were led to safety, but not enough of the animals survived to console the owners and their friends who ran to the scene in tears. Strangers also offered their support.
“I thought it would be a good idea, just to see, you never know. At least offer help. Whether it’s us helping out physically or monetarily or just offering a place to put any animals that don’t have room,” said Elizabeth Ragan, a neighbor.
The caretaker’s house was also destroyed in the fire.
Friends who take lessons at the farm were distraught over the loss of the horses, which were as much a part of the farm as they were the community.
“Well it’s heart breaking and it’s like losing a member of the family. It’s really bad,” said Susan Miller, a neighbor.
The fire marshal said because the roof of the barn was metal it turned the building into an oven.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Crews expect it will take days to determine what started the fire.