Posted: Apr 23, 2012 2:02 PM by Q2 News
BILLINGS- The Billings Fire Department has confirmed that 19 horses were killed in an early morning blaze which completely destroyed a barn in west Billings on Monday.
Shortly after 5 a.m., the Billings Fire Department responded with the Laurel Fire Department to the High Plains Stables at 2223 70th Street West.
When crews arrived, they saw flames engulfing a 20,000 square foot barn.
That barn is used as a horse training facility, and all 19 horses lost in the blaze were inside the structure during the fire.
It took crews more than an hour to contain the main fire, as the mostly metal structure collapsed on itself while the fire was burning.
Billings Fire Chief Paul Dextras says he expects crews will remain at the barn for most of the day to mop up hot spots arising from smoldering sections of the barn.
Crews will also be assisting investigators by moving heavy debris throughout the day.
According to Billings Fire Marshal Mike Spini, the investigation into the fire involves the Billings Fire Department, Yellowstone County Sheriff's Department, Billings Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
Spini says the investigation into the origin and cause of the fire could take several days to complete, due to the extensive damage to the barn.
An estimate to the cost of the damage and insurance information has not yet been released.
Spini says he will be releasing an update on the investigation sometime Monday afternoon.