Horse owners mourn loss of race horses in stable fire
HAUGHTON, LA (KSLA) -
A barn went up in flames this Thursday evening behind Louisiana Downs in Haughton. According to the horse owners, at least 20 race horses did not make it out of that barn alive. One horse was saved. The horse owners and workers who took care of the horses are heartbroken over the loss of the animals.
Jean Vezinat takes care of horses at Wrap Around farms. When he saw one of the barns on fire, he only thought one thing: save the horses. "The horses were trying to get out, banging against the door," said Vezinat.
He managed to get one horse out, before the heat became too much. "Got in about five feet, that was it and I couldn't breathe."
Police say at least 20 horses are unaccounted for. Horse owners too emotional to speak on camera say the animals were race horses and believe all but the one Vezinat saved, are dead. "I tried but I couldn't get in!"
Like Vezinat, Mario Moreno was also trying to save the horses, while another worker called 911. "I ran to the backside to try to get to the other horses, but by then I see the big ball of fire and the black smoke, so I couldn't go inside. I couldn't breath," said Moreno.
Sgt. Dave Faulk of the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office says they got a call around 5:53 p.m. that the barn was on fire. Several Bossier Fire Departments spent hours trying to put out the fire.
Life Air rescue delivered supplies for the firefighters as they continued to battle the blaze in the heat.
After years of caring for the horses, Moreno watched the scene in disbelief, feeling upset. "I'm very emotional. I'm very sad, very sad, for me the horses are like children."
Sgt. Faulk said as of 10:00 p.m. Thursday night, heavy equipment is headed was headed to the scene to move some of the debris, so firefighters can get to the hottest parts.
Once the scene cools down fire investigators will be able to determine a cause for this fire.