WEST MARLBOROUGH, Pa (CBS) — A barn fire killed six horses early Tuesday morning in Chester County.
The blaze started shortly after midnight at True Prospect Farm on Hood Road in West Marlborough Township.
11 horses were trapped inside the barn when flames broke out.
“The farm help had gotten some of the horses out. The firefighters tried to get in and tried to reach the others but couldn’t reach all of them,” Chief Don Wells with the Po-Mar-Lin Fire Company said.
Of the five injured horses, four were being treated at The University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center.
The barn was considered a total loss.
For the last three years, the barn had been rented by Olympic competitor and coach, Boyd Martin.
“Boyd is one of America’s best riders so it’s a huge blow not just for him but the whole country and any horse enthusiast,” Phillip Dutton said.
Dutton is the owner of True Prospect Farm. Dutton is also a renowned name in the competitive horse world who brought on Martin to work with him on his training facility.
“I’ve been to four Olympic Games and five World Championships but this is probably the most devastating thing I’ve seen in my horse career,” Dutton said.
Dutton calls his horses — his friend and family. He said to lose one is unimaginable and for Martin to lose six is just heartbreaking.
“They’re the elite of our sport. Many of them were destined for the Olympics and major championships throughout the world,” Dutton explained.
Grace Darnell is a horse owner from West Marlborough who felt compelled to stop by the farm to offer her condolences.
“To me and my friends, Phillip is a local legend. It’s so great to see him and Boyd do an amazing job. We just wanted to offer our support and do whatever we can for these people,” Darnell said.
The extent of the damage had not been determined.
Fire officials said while their investigation was continuing they believed the fire started accidentally.
Reported by Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3.