Monday, March 4, 2013

Electrical Issue Blamed For Fire That Killed Pregnant Horse

COCOA, Florida -- State and local fire investigators say an electrical issue likely caused a two-alarm fire yesterday that killed a pregnant horse and caused more than $425,000 in damages at a Canaveral Groves home and horse breeding facility near Cocoa, Florida.

Brevard County Fire Rescue (BCFR) units were dispatched just after 2 p.m. on Monday to the home at 5400 Calamondin Avenue for reports of a structure fire.  Officials believe that the fire began inside a breeding stable then quickly spread to a nearby horse trailer containing more than 200 bales of hay.  

As the fire raged, heavy west winds pushed the intense heat and flames toward the main residence, igniting the home’s roof.  When firefighters arrived on scene, all three structures were heavily involved in fire and a defensive fire attack was initiated.   Additional crews from BCFR, Cape Canaveral Fire Department, Rockledge Fire Department and Cocoa Fire Department were called in to assist as flying embers lit nearby trees and brush on fire.

The fire was reported by two men who were working at the site.  Residents of the home were away at a horse show when they received notification of the incident and returned to the scene.  Fire officials say the home, stable, and trailer were insured.  Friends and neighbors are assisting the victims with immediate needs, including hay and equipment needed to care for nearly a dozen other horses that were uninjured.  The Red Cross is also assisting.

A pregnant mare, due to give birth to a foal this week, was housed inside the breeding stable and did not survive.  Bystanders attempted to rescue the horse from the burning structure but had to abandon attempts as the fire grew and portions of the roof began to collapse around them.  

More than 35 firefighters were called to the scene to battle the blaze.  One firefighter suffered a minor finger injury but is doing well.  No other injuries were reported.