Eleven Horses Killed in Williston Barn Fire
Published July 30th, 2012
WILLISTON - Investigators are trying to determine the cause of an east Williston barn fire that killed eleven horses.
This comes just months after nine horses died in a Reddick barn fire.
Don Hunt, who owns the ranch in east Williston had six horses. The other five had different owners and they have all been notified.
TV 20 spoke to Hunt's neighbor about the heartbreaking fire.
"It's just a tragic thing," said Fred Barnett.
Barnett has been Hunt's neighbor for 30 years. Barnett owns a farm right across the street from where the horses died early Sunday morning.
"It makes you feel terrible," Barnett said. "This is the guy's livelihood. We all care about horses or we wouldn't be in this racket."
Hunt did not want to speak on camera, but he did tell TV 20 that his daughter woke him up around 2:00 a.m.
That's when he saw flames tearing through his barn.
Williston Fire Rescue spokesperson Danny Wallace said they rushed over, but the stables were already engulfed in flames.
"There was not any chance of getting any horses out because it had already been burning for way too long," Wallace said.
He said he believes the horses died even before the owners woke up. The fire did not reach the house and no one was injured. The barn was a total loss.
Wallace told TV 20 the owners son-in-law was able to rush to a stable and save two ponies.
Williston, Marion County and Bronson firefighters worked the fire for more than four hours.
Wallace said as of right now they believe the fire was an accident.
"There is nothing suspicious about the fire, but we would like to find what actually caused it," Wallace said.
Owners and neighbors worked together to bury all eleven horses on Sunday.
Barnett said that's the least he could do to support his longtime neighbor.
"We are all horses people so when there's a tragedy then everybody jumps in," Barnett said. "That's how we do things."
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