COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Fire investigators say 24 horses and one calf were killed in a barn fire in Colerain Township.
Crews were called to the Oasis Farms on Dunlap Road around 5:15 a.m. When crews arrived, approximately 50 percent of the barn was fully involved in fire.
There were about 40 horses in the barn at the time of the fire. Sixteen horses were rescued or escaped and two horses were transported to a local medical facility for treatment of injuries/burns.
"This is absolutely horrible," said Capt. Steve Conn with the Colerain Fire Department. "We encounter fires all the time and occasionally we find pets and occasionally we find small animals, but to find a fire of this magnitude, with this many casualties...these horses are beautiful animals and to have something like this happen is traumatic."
Conn says firefighting efforts were hampered by limited water supply in the area and crews had to use a hydrant that was almost 2,500 feet from the barn. The barn sustained heavy damage and subsequently suffered a partial collapse of the main horse-stall areas.
Investigators believe the cause of the fire may have been a heat lamp being used for the calf. It's unclear if there was an electrical malfunction or if the calf knocked the lamp over. The cause of the fire is being called accidental.
A neighbor reported hearing what sounded like 6 to 8 gunshots and then heard a loud thud. He looked out his window to see the barn on fire.
According to the web site for Oasis Farms, the facility is a full care boarding facility for Crabbet Arabian breed horses. They have been in business for 25 years. The barn is about 300 feet long and can house up to 50 horses.
The majority of the horses lost were the property of the farm's owners.