Horses killed in barn fire - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Horses killed in barn fire

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A tragic barn fire Wednesday night left nearly two dozen horses dead.

Firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 9:30 Wednesday night at a barn in the 3200 block of Chapel Road.   Crews were able to quickly bring the fire under control, but soon discovered that over a dozen horses had perished.

Late Thursday, William Tate was still in disbelief over the death of his female show horse. 

"It's a hurtful thing," he said.
Tate's horse was just one of nearly two dozen horses killed in a tragic barn fire.
"Anything you raise, it's just like a child," he said. "If you raise a child you get attached.  You raise a horse, you get attached.  It really hurts."

When firefighters arrived at the barn, its had collapsed, and it was fully engulfed in flames.  It was too late to save the animals inside.

"Some of them are real expensive, said Rayfield Howell, part owner of the barn. "Some were Tennessee walking horses, some of them were speed horses, some were just regular saddle horses.  They were very expensive horses."

Now smoldering ash and debris is all that's left...

"This is tragic," Howell said. "This is about the worst I have ever seen."

Howell said the facility has been around since 1967, and has always been a place where people could bring their kids to ride horses just like Tate's.

"She would perform and whatever you asked her to do, she would do it," he said. "Let her run, call her, and she would come back to you."

While investigators say the fire was most likely caused by an electrical problem, the owners of the facility say they will now consider moving forward with plans to rebuild.

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