Horses Killed In Barn Fire

Arson investigators are back on the scene of a barn fire in Franklin County that claimed the lives of six horses.

State police suspect lightning struck the roof of a barn at the Stewart Home School on Old Lawrenceburg Road.

Seven horses were in the barn at the time.

Some workers in the kitchen saw the fire and were able to pull one of the horses out.

State police say the horses were therapeutic and were used by disabled students at the school.

AP Story

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A barn fire in central Kentucky killed six of seven horses used in a therapy program for disabled students.

Lightning struck the barn at the Stewart Home School just before 7 p.m. Monday, setting off the blaze, state police said.

A cook at the school saw it happen, ran to the barn and managed to get one of the horses out. The horse, Tia Marie, suffered scorched hair on her back, but will be all right, officials said.

None of the 400 students who live on the sprawling 850-acre farm in southern Franklin County was injured, school Director Sandy Bell said.

The 114-year-old school caters to students of all ages with intellectual disabilities. It currently has students ranging in ages from 13 to 86, Bell said. More than 100 students took part in the horse therapy program, she said.

Many students were devastated by the deaths because the horses were an integral part of life at the school, Bell said. Students would ride the horses and use them to drive carriages, Bell said.

"Our students love this program. They love these horses," Bell told The (Frankfort) State Journal.

The school's Web site says it offers a one-of-a-kind community where the intellectually disabled are appreciated for the people they are.

Bell said the school will probably get more horses in the future.

"It's a very important part of life at Stewart Home School," she said.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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