SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 3, 2014

Barn fire kills two horses

WENHAM — A fire in a barn at 69 Cherry St. resulted in the deaths of two horses yesterday morning.

The blaze swiftly consumed what fire Chief Robert Blanchard described as an “old, dry barn.” Although 20 Wenham firefighters and five men from the Hamilton department responded quickly to the 4:13 a.m. alarm, the barn was already “fully involved” when they arrived.

The two animals “were locked in for the night,” Blanchard said. “They couldn’t get out.” And the fire generated such intense heat “we couldn’t get to them,” he said.

The chief speculated that the two horses might have expired before the fire crews arrived.

“It was a very difficult situation,” he said.

Crews directed by Capt. Dan Sullivan, however, were successful in stopping the blaze from spreading to a nearby, smaller structure housing chickens.

“The firefighters did a great job containing it to one building,” Blanchard said.

Warmer weather allowed firefighters access to hydrants that might have been frozen in previous evenings. Wenham brought two pumper trucks, a ladder truck and a rescue truck, while Hamilton also brought a fire truck.

Although the owners of the barn lived nearby, they did not see the fire. A neighbor alerted the Fire Department with a phone call. Call firefighters began arriving from nearby homes soon after that.

“It was not suspicious,” Blanchard said. “We’re not sure what caused it.”

Along with the horses, farm equipment was kept in the barn. The horses had been used for riding.

While the barn wasn’t connected to an alarm system, Blanchard doesn’t believe it would have made much difference if it had been.

Danvers Fire Department provided coverage for the town during the emergency.

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