In December, a barn fire took place in Lexington Kentucky. We’ve written about these types of barn fires before, but it’s always a tragedy when it happens. In the Lexington Herald, it is said that “Ranch hand Peter Evsich, 55, sat in his pickup truck smoking a cigarette Sunday afternoon while watching over the smoldering ruins of a horse barn, with 23 dead horses somewhere under the barn’s collapsed metal roof.” You’ll notice the barn itself was actually mostly wood, and the roof was made out of metal in order to advance construction. The Mercury Equine Center experienced what they believe to be an electrical failure perhaps caused by lightning or simply misfortune on a grave scale. We have seen this happen too many times, and are deeply sorry for their emotional and financial hardship. The ranch hand reported he attempted to save the animals, running into the wooden barn while it was on fire. He even mentioned “One of the rescuers didn’t take time to dress before jumping in half naked to save the horses.”
To those of you that own livestock, this sentiment is not unfamiliar. However, for those of you that don’t, one of the thirteen horses that was rescued by the brave farmhands was valued at over “$100,000.” The economical loss is in deed devastating, but moreover the emotional toil of losing animals that you’ve helped raise. In some cases, animals you’ve helped breed and fully mature entirely. The farm owner called the farm hands heroes for running in to save the horses while the barn was on fire, and mentioned that it was billowing black smoke even as they were running towards the barn to get inside. An estimated total of $2 million dollars was taken by the flames, and the farm owner was quoted as saying “I’ll never get this nightmare out of my mind.”
One of the farmhands had known the horses so well, that he was helping to identify the ones that were lost in the fire after the flames had subsided. Several of the horses were only a year old, and had the potential to be strong race horses in the coming year. One was even scheduled to race the next day. There was still some danger of the fire spreading long after it claimed enough property, there were men attempting to watch the lingering embers so the wind did not pick up the flames and spread throughout the rest of the facility.
The Horse Barn Fire Response
Many of the workers and caretakers on the farm believe that the fire department did not arrive quick enough to make a substantial difference in saving the lives of the horses. While the owner had to painfully alert all the purchasers and owners of the thoroughbreds the next day that the horses had died in a fire, he remarked poorly on the fire station responsible for helping the farm. “There’s a fire station five minutes down the road but it took 39 minutes before they could get there to help us. We actually called 911 twice asking where is the fire department. It’s absolutely unacceptable. The fire department really let us down.” We understand the owner’s frustration, but in many instances the fire department are just doing their best as the owner was himself. It’s important to understand the compassion required for traversing a loss such as this, but also an opportunity to look towards a safer future. The mayor of Lexington has remarked on the fire department’s slow arrival and has said they are continually investigating the incident. It was a large amount of property to be lost with a slow response time. The fire chief says he was there as quickly as possible given the weather conditions and distance.
A metal horse barn is a highly effective method for protecting your property from fires. Lightning can strike at any time, and electrical failures can happen. With a metal horse barn, those fires are much easier to contain simply from the lack of fuel for the flames. A fire in a wood barn has the entire structure to consume and wreak havoc with, the metal barn cannot burn, although it can sustain aesthetic damage from smoke and some damage from extreme heat. Overall, a metal roof is not simply enough to prevent a fire. A metal horse barn cannot prevent a fire either, but it can reduce the damage of fires significantly. All of our metal barns are extremely customizable, and can be installed and delivered free of charge! If you’re curious about customization options, call now for a free consultation or take a look here at our state of the art barn builder.