COLUMBIA, Tenn. - A devastating barn fire claimed the lives of five horses, four of which were Tennessee Walking horses.
The incident was reported Wednesday afternoon along Old Lewisburg Highway in Columbia. Investigators determined that an electrical issue sparked the fire.
More than 24-hours after the blaze, the area was still burning, with the intense smell of smoke lingering in the air.
Three engines, along with three tankers, responded to the scene. Wildlife officers with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, located right down the street, also tried to assist.
Sarah Brewer, the owner’s daughter-in-law, said she rushed to the scene in a matter of minutes, but it was too late to save any animals.
“She [mother-in-law] called me and said, ‘the barn’s on fire’ and of course my first question was ‘are the horses out?’ And she said ‘no,’” she said.
Brewer said her first instinct was to run inside the burning barn but the flames were too intense.
Five horses were inside their stalls at the time of the fire, two of them were show horses.
Owner Larry Brewer suffered burns to his arm while trying to rescue them, as well as some equipment, but the flames had already engulfed the barn.
“I want to believe they didn’t suffer. It’s like I told my mom last night, ‘my best friend died in that fire,’” Brewer said tearfully.
Her seven-year-old daughter, Anna, had been training her horse to show next year. Brewer said she is devastated by the loss.