The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

April 12, 2010

Stable fire kills at least 14 horses

Retired racehorses and their young die

CHESTERFIELD, Ind. — At least 14 horses died as a wind-swept fire destroyed a stable Monday morning in southeastern Madison County.

“I’m devastated right now,” wept Joyce Baker, owner and manager of Indiana Stallion Station, 4967 E. 100S, as an army of firefighters doused the charred ruins of a stable where four mares and their weanlings perished. Some of the offspring were only about one month old.  

A few horses that made it out of the burning stable suffered severe burns and were later euthanized, witnesses said. The horses that died included retired racing thoroughbreds and quarter horses that had been brought to the stables to breed.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Baker, surrounded by tearful family members who worked with the animals on the Union Township farm.

Three stable workers were transported to Saint John’s Medical Center and treated for smoke inhalation, said Chesterfield-Union Township Fire Chief Todd Huffer.

Lee Whiteman, Baker’s brother and farrier at the stable, said “the boys that work here did their best to get (horses) out.” He said about 20 horses housed in the stable were saved from the fire. “We got out as many as we could.”

Whiteman said some of the horses were nearly paralyzed by the sight of the stable fire, and that rescuers worked to pull the horses out until firefighters ordered them to evacuate the pole-barn-style stable.

“I’m thankful for all our friends that came to help, and I’m thankful for all the fire departments that are here,” he said.

Surveying the smoldering stable a short time later, Whiteman shook his head. “Unbelievable,” he sighed.  

There are two stable buildings on the farm; Whiteman said another stable that houses stud horses was undamaged.

Bill Whiteman, father of Joyce Baker and Lee Whiteman, lives at the home on the farm and said that around 9:30 to 10 a.m., a stable worker ran to the house and said to call the fire department.

Bill Whiteman said the fire appeared to start in either a supply area or a shop connected to the east side of the stable, which Huffer confirmed. A strong wind quickly whipped the fire into the stable area. “There was nothing they could do about it,” Whiteman said.

He said many of the horses stabled on the farm are owned by people from Florida, California, New York and Kentucky.

“We have kids here every night working hard, getting them ready for the shows,” Bill Whiteman said.

Lee Whiteman said his daughter Morgan’s horse was among those that died. He said the 14-year-old barrel-riding horse had been bottle-fed after its mother died at birth.

“We named her Miracle,” he said. “Anytime that you walked into the stable ... she kind of greeted you.”

Chesterfield-Union Township fire crews responded to the fire and called for mutual aid from all available units. Crews set up a portable water dump tank that conveyed water from tanker trucks to a ladder truck and engines that battled the fire for hours. Fire crews cleared the scene at 3:54 p.m.

At the height of the fire, more than 18 emergency vehicles were on site.

Assisting departments included fire and emergency rescue crews from Adams and Richland townships in Madison County; Salem Township-Daleville and Yorktown in Delaware County; and Middletown in Henry County. Madison County Sheriff’s Department, Madison County Emergency Management Agency and Middletown police units also responded.

Huffer praised the response. “We rely heavily on our neighboring departments,” he said. He said the cause of the fire is undetermined.

On Monday evening, Baker said one of the horses lost in the fire was a mare named Lizzie that was going to be her barrel-riding horse.

“The horses, they became part of your family,” she said. “It hurts.”

Contact Dave Stafford: 648-4250, dave.stafford@heraldbulletin.com

 

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Senior housing project advances If all the pieces fall into place within the next two weeks, construction on a new senior housing development could begin this fall.

    July 30, 2014

  • Officials: Indiana sheriff gave prostitute uniform

    A southern Indiana sheriff accused of patronizing a prostitute gave the woman a deputy's badge and uniform so she could get hotel discounts, then later encouraged her to get rid of the evidence, authorities said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Three-drink limit for beer, wine at Indiana Fair

    Strict limits will be in place when the Indiana State Fair sells alcoholic drinks for the first since 1946 when its 17-day run begins Friday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Poll: Immigration concerns rise with tide of kids

    For nearly two months, images of immigrant children who have crossed the border without a parent, only to wind up in concrete holding cells once in United States, have tugged at heartstrings. Yet most Americans now say U.S. law should be changed so they can be sent home quickly, without a deportation hearing.

    July 29, 2014

  • NASCAR suspends Hamlin crew chief Grubb 6 races

    NASCAR suspended Denny Hamlin's crew chief and car chief on Tuesday for six races because the Joe Gibbs Racing entry failed inspection following his third-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    July 29, 2014

  • Avoiding plane crashes as air traffic doubles

    More travelers are flying than ever before, creating a daunting challenge for airlines: keep passengers safe in an ever more crowded airspace.

    July 29, 2014

  • Report: More acidic seawater poses risks in Alaska

    The release of carbon dioxide into the air from power plant smokestacks to the tailpipe on your car could pose a risk to red king crab and other lucrative fisheries in Alaska, a new report says.

    July 29, 2014

  • 'Pawn Stars' TV star plans stores near famous shop

    The long parade of tourists who regularly stop by the downtown Las Vegas shop featured on the History Channel reality show "Pawn Stars" could soon have something better to do while waiting in line.

    July 29, 2014

  • Soldiers get $92M in debt relief under settlement

    Thirteen states, including Indiana, have settled an investigation into improper lending with a court agreement that is expected to provide $92 million in debt relief for 17,800 U.S. military personnel.

    July 29, 2014

  • NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer and other contact sports.

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Now that Andrew Luck is getting ready to start the third year of his NFL career, did the Colts make the right decision to release Peyton Manning and turn the offense over to Luck?

Yes, the future is bright.
No, the Colts would have won another Super Bowl by now if they had kept Manning.
Don't know; don't care
     View Results