LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A large barn fire in Lexington has killed nearly two dozen horses.
Lexington Police say the fire happened around 1:15 Sunday morning on the property of Mercury Equine Center, which is a horse training center just off Russell Cave Road.
Emory Brenklin has worked at the Mercury Equine Center for about a year and says when he saw the flames, he could only think of one thing to do.
"Just try to stay alive myself and get as many horses out as I could."
Brenklin says he was able to save at least 7 horses from the fire.
The owner of the training center, Eric Reed says they rescued as many as they could before the flames took over.
"My other guys were helping and the horses would run back in naturally and we would have to take them back out. The barn started collapsing and we just had to call it off," Reed said.
Reed says there were 36 horses inside the barn at the time, but only close to a dozen made it out alive.
"Most of the horses that perished in this barn were yearlings. It was the yearling barn. There were a hand full of race horses in their as well."
This morning workers rounded up the horse that made it out of the barn, some walking by with noticeable burns and singed tails.
"Most of them are okay. There were a couple that didn't look to good so we are going to send them to the clinic to see what can be done."
A heart wrenching scene that has this horse loving community leaning on each other to get through this devastating time.
"They're family. It's all we got."
Fire officials still haven't confirmed what started the fire, but Reed thinks the barn may have been struck by lightning during the storm last night.
There are 50 others horses that are kept in others barns at the Center.
We're told those barns were not harmed by the flames.