A chilling, terrifying event took place last night, November 11, 2014, Veteran’s Day. This event is something from a horrifying nightmare or scary movie. In Edwardsburg, Michigan, located in Cass County, a barn caught fire. 17 horses and a show dog died in the blazes. No human injuries occurred in the fire.
Edwardsburg, established in 1828, is a small village in Michigan. The village is located northeast of South Bend. With a population of only 1,259, not much happens in this small village.
Unfortunately, that was not the case last night when a barn went up in blazes just south of Edwardsburg. The barn was located at Smithfield Stables on Elkhart Road. The stable trained and sold horses. There were no survivors among the 17 horses that were misfortunately housed in the barn last night.
Norm Golba, an adjoining neighbor, noticed the smoke and called it into 911. Golba and another gentleman rescued residents living in an apartment over the barn. As the residents were escorted to safety, their concern was for the horses. Everyone at the scene wanted to rescue the horses; however, the smoke was overwhelming.
The stables are located in a rural area with no fire hydrants in close proximity. A total of 15 fire departments responded to the emergency call. Despite the gallant efforts of 75 well-trained firefighters, the gruesome loss was all-inclusive. When the trucks ran out of water, the firemen had to take the trucks more than a mile away to refill. The barn was very large with several wings. The fire was out of control. The barn and the majestic animals housed inside are now in ashes.
The dreadful scene was caught on camera by several neighboring onlookers. Viewers and readers are waking to the ghastly news on television, the internet and newspapers. The 17 horses and show dog are mourned today. Heartbroken mourners stand at the gate in shock. No statement has been issued by the stables or the fire department concerning the cause of the fire.
Due to the massive amounts of water pumped onto the blazes, the pumping station lost pressure. Schools in the area are closed today due to a boil order. A boil order is issued by a city when there is a possibility of water contamination. The order advises citizens to boil water before drinking, brushing teeth or cooking. The city will test the water for contaminants before removing the boil order.
*Photo courtesy of Devil Rides the Horse of Light by Rahman Rasheed at Flickr’s Creative Commons. The photo was not taken at the site of last night’s fire. The photographer taking the picture several years prior at another location captured the image of a horse in flames.