Firefighters save horses from stable fire in Phoenix


by Catherine Holland

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 8:41 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 28 at 1:16 PM

Map: 67th Avenue and Van Buren

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PHOENIX -- Investigators are trying to determine what sparked an early morning fire at a horse stable in Phoenix Friday.

It happened just before 2 a.m. near 67th Avenue and Van Buren Street.

A neighbor alerted the homeowner who called 911 and then went outside with a garden hose.

Firefighters were able to use their deck gun to knock down the flames, but they said their job was made a bit more difficult by the horses running around.

"They're large animals," Phoenix Fire Capt. Jonathan Jacobs said. "We don't necessarily want to be out running around in these types of incidents. What they do is they become very scared. We don’t want to be stretching hose lines when eight to 10 horses are running by. … It's something that we're not unfamiliar with."

Several horses were trapped but fire crews managed to get them out of harm's way.

There are some homes just to the north of where the fire was burning. Crews kept the fire from spreading that direction.

It's not yet known what sparked the fire. According to Jacobs, it might have been an electrical fire. Spontaneous combustion within the hay also is a possibility, as is improperly extinguished smoke materials.

"There are a lot of different things out there that could have caused this," he said. "It doesn't look like anybody appeared to go out there and set a fire. It looks like it's a natural cause, accidental in nature."

No injuries -- either to humans or animals -- were reported.