Grief, But Few Answers in Barn Fire

By Randy McIlwain
|  Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010  |  Updated 8:00 PM CDT
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Barn Blaze Kills Horses

NBCDFW.com

Nearly two dozen horses were killed in an Allen barn fire.

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Barn Blaze Kills Horses

Investigators said it could take several days before a cause is determined for a fire, which destroyed a barn and killed more than 20 horses.
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Between 20 and 25 horses were killed in a barn fire in Allen on Tuesday afternoon.

Only three of the horses inside the barn at the intersection of Greenville Avenue and Exchange Parkway survived.

"There was a mare and her baby and another horse," said Pam Ruggeri, who's father built the barn 30 years ago. "A neighbor came over and pulled some siding off the barn to help free those horses."

The flames and smoke from the fire could be seen for miles. Firefighters spent the bulk of Tuesday dousing remaining hot spots that make it dangerous to sift through debris and search for a cause.

It's also tough on the animals' owners, who hoped to at least identify the remains of their horses for insurance purposes.

Investigators said they are looking at a downed power line, but do know if it caused the fire or was downed because of the blaze.

Ruggeri and other horse owners who boarded their animals at the barn are grieving.

"It's like a family member; it's tough," Ruggeri said.

She said there is a special bond between horses and their owners. Riders trust the animal with their lives every time they ride them.

Ruggeri said her mother, who still lives in the home on the property where the barn burned down, is devastated. Ruggeri's father built every square inch of the building.

"A lot of great memories (are) here," she said. "They will always be in my heart, but it's sure hard not seeing that structure there."

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