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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  • by Anonymous Location: Kentucky on Nov 8, 2007 at 06:54 AM
    I hate to see this for these children. It is amazing how animal's can heal and help people, especially children. These horses were used in a situation that only they could attribute too. Some people just can't understand or see that. These kids have lost something very dear to them. This is a tremendous loss for these kids.
  • by Anonymous Location: Kentucky on Nov 7, 2007 at 11:41 AM
    Okay after reading a couple of these comments, I just don't get people anymore!!!!!!!! That is why they have Fire marshal's and investigator's. Ever heard of lightening strikes and most of these barns store hay too!!! GEEEZ
  • by Reader Location: Frankfort on Nov 7, 2007 at 08:08 AM
    Actually it is a Big deal. It may have been horses, but these horses were used in programs with these students. They had bonds we can't even imagine. Some of these students have lost a dear friend.
  • by G Location: Eastern Kentucky on Nov 7, 2007 at 07:57 AM
    Please don't be so heartless. When you spend every day around horses and you care for them and nurture them like children they almost become like your children. I've been a horse owner my whole life and it amazes me by what a horse will do for you. They are flight animals by instinct but I've seen horses run towards danger to help their owners. What these particular horses did was extraordinary in that they had to be incredibly calm and responsive to the needs of the children they served. They will be incredibly hard to replace. I would be interested in loaning one of mine until they can find more horses if someone would offer some contact info.
  • by Cindy Location: Somerset on Nov 6, 2007 at 07:51 PM
    Big deal. They were horses for goodness sakes. Just be thankful it wasnt 6 or 7 children killed in the fire.
  • by Cheryl Location: Salyersville on Nov 6, 2007 at 10:07 AM
    Is it just me or do there seem to be a lot of barn fires. I am concerned that some of these people are not able to feed these animals and rather than selling them for, whatever, not enough bucks, these animals are just being burned too death! There has just been too many instances of barn fires this year! I realize that some are diffently probably accidents but gees people! I also do realize this is somewhat a different situation also before someone goes off on me about it okay. I'm just saying.
  • by Cassy Location: Bracken Co on Nov 6, 2007 at 08:31 AM
    I have a brother you attends the school and to think that someone might have actually started it is awful. The students that go there are loving and caring and only deserve the best. I feel so bad to know that the students that were in the riding program have just lost their best friends. I hope if someone did do this and it wasnt by accident that they are found and charged. I also hope they are able to re-build and continue the great program that they have there. Thinking of you always.
  • by Julie Location: Harrodsburg on Nov 6, 2007 at 05:30 AM
    My heart goes out to SHS over the loss of these wonderful friends. The horses were not just therapy, but an ear to listen and a warm friend to hug, who never judged, but were always there. Our prayers are with you!


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