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Fire levels horse barns

7 horses, 3 dogs killed; water issues complicate firefighter's efforts March 8, 2016 at 4:00 a.m. | Updated January 1, 2021 at 12:00 a.m.
A number of volunteers helped to corral the frightened horses Monday as they waited for livestock trailers to arrive on scene to carry the animals to other facilities for safe keeping. Numerous people with trailers carried away dozens of equine from the Fairview Farms location. Fairview Farms raises American Saddlebred horses and provides an indoor arena for riding lessons.

Fire departments from four counties were involved in fighting a fire Monday afternoon at a saddlebred horse farm in New Bloomfield.

The fire at Bob and Tonya Brison's Fairview Farms started around 1 p.m.

According to information on Facebook pages linking to the farm, the fire was noticed while the owners were working horses and the structures at the farm were lost in a few minutes.

Fire officials said three buildings were destroyed, two stables and an indoor arena, and all three averaged 75 by 300 feet in size.

There was a home on the property, and it was undamaged by the fire.

Smoke could be seen for several miles after the fire started. By 5 p.m., the remains of the structures were still smoldering, keeping the smoke floating throughout the community.

All of the residents and employees at the property were safe and accounted for, with no reported injuries.

More than 50 horses are housed on the property. Fire officials on the scene confirmed seven horses housed at the farm died in the fire along with three dogs.

Eyewitnesses on the scene said they were touched by the outpouring of support for the farm owners since several local horsemen, many of who did not know the Brisons, brought in trailers to take surviving horses to local facilities for safekeeping.

The reason so many firefighters were called in was due to no water service in the area. That meant firefighters went to neighboring communities, such as Holts Summit and Lake Mykee, to refill tankers and bring them back to the scene to battle the fire.

According to Holts Summit Public Information Officer Scott Pasley, more than 15 tanker apparatus were used to shuttle water to the scene, which required County Road 367 to be shut down to non-essential traffic. "We would like to thank the citizens of New Bloomfield for their cooperation" Pasley said. "The water shuttle operation was essential to containing the fire, and to minimizing the danger to the firefighters and livestock at the scene."

Fairview was known for offering adults and children in the New Bloomfield area horse riding lessons and camps.

The State Fire Marshal's Office was called in to investigate the fire. Fire officials on the scene said they believed the fire marshal was called in due to the size of the structures that were destroyed and the value of the horses and contents that were lost.


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