Kentucky Barn Fire Kills Eight Trapped Racehorses, Rescue Was Impossible

A Kentucky barn fire killed eight trapped Thoroughbred racehorses early Friday morning in Kenneland, Kentucky. An investigation into what caused the fire is underway. The fire happened at Fayette County Farm owned by John T. Ward, the trainer of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner, Monarchos. Ward is also the executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

As reports, Ward leased the farm to racehorse trainer, Gerry Carwood. Ward didn’t know who owned the horses killed in the barn fire. Carwood was able to save two horses by getting them out of a shed on the property, but was unable to rescue eight other Thoroughbreds in the main barn that was engulfed in flames.

Carwood was heartbroken at the death of the horses and damage left by the fire.

Carwood said of the incident:

“These horses, I spend seven days a week, 24 hours a day taking care of them. They are like my family.”

Firefighters from Lexington arrived at the farm around 1 am Friday, but fire department Maj. Mark Harvey said there was little they could do at that point. He said the barn was “pretty much on the ground when we got there.”

The building was once a tobacco barn and later renovated to accommodate horses. The property is directly across from a Blue Grass Airport where an air traffic controller noticed the fire.

Carwood was awakened by the fire when he heard dogs outside “going nuts.” When he looked out the window, he said he saw “red everywhere.” He recalled the horses desperately wanting to flee the barn they were trapped in:

“I could hear everybody (horses) kicking and screaming, but it was too hot. I couldn’t get in. I tried to go in, but I couldn’t get in there.”

Firefighters remained at the tragic Kentucky scene until 10 am when they made sure the fire was completely watered down. The barn was estimated to be 5ox60 feet in size.

Horses in the barn fire tragedy haven’t been named… or if they were established racing champions. Besides property damage done to the area, Thoroughbred horses in the racehorse industry around Kentucky are known to be one of the priciest horses owners can have.

Firefighters haven’t revealed any thoughts on what might have resulted in the blaze. An investigation into the Kentucky barn fire will continue until something gives authorities a clue as to why an inferno began and took the lives of eight beautiful horses.

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