The source was a trailer containing wood chips and straw. The result was 18 horses killed and two people injured.
Wednesday’s fire was a gruesome and tragic sight in Plainfield, Illinois, where a 100-by-100-foot barn was totally engulfed in flames and ultimately destroyed. It took 70 firefighters to finally extinguish the blaze, and with no hydrants nearby, water had to be shuttled in. About a dozen horses did make it out alive, thanks to a few people who were on site at the time the fire started.
“Those are big animals, and they kind of do what they want to in those situations,” Plainfield Fire Protection District Chief Dave Riddle told The Chicago Tribune. “Even corralled, they were very, very agitated, fighting, biting and kicking. … You could see the agitation.”
People who boarded horses at the facility were understandably heartbroken, and some poured out their grief on social media. ABC Chicago said that, by the afternoon, neighbors were showing up to offer supplies and apple treats for the animals that survived.
Though officials know that the fire started in the trailer that held bedding materials, it’s still unclear what sparked the blaze.