19 Horses Confirmed Dead, 1 Rescued in Haughton Stable Fire
Nineteen horses are confirmed dead so far after River Point Stables, near Louisiana Downs in Haughton, caught fire. Bossier Sheriff's Lieutenant Bill Davis it took a great amount of manpower to get the blaze under control.
Bossier Fire District 1 was first on the scene, and several other agencies and volunteers joined in.
"We had the Bossier Sheriff's Office Crime Scene Investigators come out, multiple other agencies, including Haughton Fire Department, Bossier City Fire Department, South Bossier Fire Department, Shreveport Fire Department brought some lights out, as well," Davis says. "And then LifeAir Rescue came out to provide some services, not only medical services needed for firefighters, but also brought some water and Gatorade for the folks out here fighting this fire in the pretty hot temperatures."
Lt. Davis says around dusk, the barn was still smoldering -- and continued to smolder late this morning. The fire is under control, though, and because of quick work by firefighters, an adjacent barn is still standing. "One barn, about the size of a football field, is totally destroyed," he says.
The deceased horses belong to six different owners, some of whom live here in the Shreveport-Bossier area, and many of the trainers do live near the racetrack. "What we're sensitive to, as we do with any case of a loss of life, these horses are, to these owners, are very important, like anybody's animal," Davis says. "This is more than a pet, this is their livelihood, and we understand there are some sensitivity issues. We're trying to work closely with some of the owners and the trainers. This is a very difficult time for them, as well."
Davis says the area where the fire happened is a very close-knit community. "A number of different horse barns as I'm standing out here. And the folks who work, train here, this is a very disappointing day for them here in Bossier Parish."
With temperatures today expected to get into the triple-digits, there are precautions in place to keep the remaining firefighters and investigators safe as they continue to search through the rubble. Davis tells us the stable's owner, Alan Fox, also has a message for all the officials who helped fight the blaze.
"He would like to thank the police and the fire departments for their incredible response to get this fire under control, to ensure that no more property was damaged," Davis says. "He was just real appreciative of the support of the fire departments, law enforcement agencies, that responded."
Davis tells us the primary objective for officials who remain at the scene is to secure any evidence that may help them understand exactly this fire started. A joint investigation is underway. No foul play is suspected at this point.