On Thursday morning — one day before the opening of horse racing season — 15 horses were killed in a suspicious stable fire, the stable was owned by Lincoln Downs Race Track, Springfield, Illinois.
The fire reportedly started around 4 a.m. and smoldered until noon. An arson squad was called to the scene, led by fire chief Bernard Perry.
“The fire exploded near the center of the barn.” Perry said. “Flames were shooting out when we got here. The fire is definitely suspicious.”
Ten horses survived out of the original 25 that were kept in the barn during the time of the fire. Two of the survivors were seen stampeding through the barnyard with their backs on fire.
Jockey, Albert Ramos, watched as workers cleaned up the scene of the fire.
“Those are my best friends,” Ramos said, gesturing towards the surviving horses. “I love horses more than I do people. I feel like I want to cry.”
The barn had been a one-story wooden structure with heaters and electrical outlets at each end. Only several rows of charred wooden supports remain after the fire. Arson is suspected as the cause. (200)