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10 horses perish in early morning barn fire

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By Tracy Harris

Ten Thoroughbred horses died in a barn fire in L'Espirit early Monday morning, according to La Grange Fire Department officials.

The department responded to a call at 3:40 a.m. to Park Shore Road and found the barn fully engulfed in flames.

A neighbor called 911 after realizing the barn was on fire. 

The horse owners were leasing the land; there is no home on the property.

A caretaker resides in a small living area inside the barn and woke to heavy smoke. He attempted to rescue one of the horses but was unable to get any of the animals out before the smoke became too dense.

The barn had at least 20 stalls.

La Grange Fire Department Maj. Keith Smith said fire can spread quickly in barns.

"They're made of wood and there's all that hay inside," he said.

The department arrived on scene within eight minutes of the call.

"It was lit up from end to end," Smith said.

No people were injured in the fire but animal control was called to care for a pet goat on the property.

Firefighters remained on the scene until 6:50 a.m. Wet piles of hay remained steaming Monday afternoon.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.