24 Horses Killed in Barn Fire in Simsbury

"There are no words to express our sorrow this morning," Folly Farm says

Two dozen horses were killed when a fire broke out in a barn at Folly Farm in Simsbury Thursday morning.

Firefighters were called to the equestrian training and boarding farm at 75 Hartford Road around 6:45 a.m.

It took firefighters about 20 minutes to bring the fire in the farm's metal arena barn under control.

In a post on Facebook, the Folly Farm said 24 horses died in the fire.

"There are no words to express our sorrow this morning. The fire department is still investigating the possible cause of the fire in our arena barn however 24 of our beloved horses have passed away due to smoke inhalation. Our hearts are broken. These horses and our clients are our family. Thank you to everyone for the outpouring of support," the Facebook post said.

No horses survived, fire officials said. Farm and fire officials were notifying the horses' owners.

"Most of these horses were part of our Riding School and our Polo School, and three were privately owned. These gentle souls taught hundreds of children and adults how to ride, to play polo, and to love through the years," Alison Patricelli, general manager of Folly Farm, said in a statement. "They were the heart and soul of Folly Farm and of our lives."

Nineteen horses housed in other barns were not affected by the fire, Patricelli said.

Fire Marshal Kevin Kowalski said the fire's point of origin was in the Paddock utility closet and the most probable cause of the fire is accidental, caused by a 110-volt receptacle arcing. He said connected to the receptacle was a heater that kept the pipes from freezing. 

Folly Farm is a 175-acre, family-owned farm about 10 miles northwest of Hartford that offers horse riding and competition lessons, boarding and polo instruction.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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