Friend of horse owners reacts to deadly barn fire

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - One horse owner is speaking out about the tragedy at Oasis Farms, saying everyone impacted is rallying around the farm's owners in support.

"It's pretty devastating," shared Karri Bruskotter. "These [horses] are a piece of our heart, a piece of our family."

Bruskotter was boarding her own horse Edgar at the Oasis Farms when the fire broke out.

"They are animals, but they belong to us and we're responsible for their care," Bruskotter said. "To have this happen is pretty devastating to everybody."

Edgar was one of the lucky ones that made it through, but 25 other animals in the barn were not so lucky; a reality the farm's owner is still trying to deal with.

"She's managing," Bruskotter said of her friend Deb Crosby, the farm's owner. "She's coping. As good as any one of us can do."

Bruskotter says one of the injured horses was transported to Lexington to be evaluated, another painful reminder that though the blaze may be over, the battle is not.

"They hold a special place in our heart," she said. "They are our family members and for us to lose that many of them in one fell swoop is fairly devastating."

Bruskotter says despite the devastation, there is little time now for grieving.

"I don't think you can be there yet," she shared. "I think everybody's still in shock."

She says right now the focus is on the work that needs to get done.

"There are other horses here that need care, that need to be fed and watered every day and then when you have the time to mourn you begin to mourn," Bruskotter said.

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