'Terrible tragedy' as horses perish in Ontario barn fire
Published Friday, January 15, 2016 6:27AM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 15, 2016 11:31AM EST
At least a dozen horses have died in a barn fire in an Ontario community located northwest of Guelph.
Fire crews were called to the scene late Thursday evening, after fire broke out at a private farm in Mount Forest, Ont.
David Guilbault, fire chief of Wellington North Fire Services, told reporters that the barn was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters first arrived on scene.
Despite efforts to get the horses out, they were trapped by fire and smoke.
Guilbault said it is believed 14 horses that there were in the barn, and early reports suggest two may have escaped.
“I hope that’s the case,” Guilbault said, adding the fire is a “terrible tragedy.”
According to The Canadian Press, a person who answered the telephone at the Mount Forest property early Friday said all of the horses were Arabian.
As many as 40 firefighters worked to put out the blaze, which was fully extinguished by early Friday morning. Crews were able to put up a “water curtain” to ensure it didn’t spread to a nearby house, Guilbault said.
One person at the property suffered minor injuries.
"One gentleman was taken to hospital for precaution with a little bit of smoke inhalation and anxiety," Guilbault told The Canadian Press.
The Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office has been notified and is expected to investigate the cause of the fire.
It is the second such incident to hit southern Ontario this month. On Jan. 4, 43 horses perished in a stable fire in Puslinch, in what was considered a significant loss to the horse racing community in southern Ontario.
With files from The Canadian Press