'It's devastating': Dozens of racehorses die in fire

More than 40 racehorses were killed when a fire tore through a barn in south-central Ontario, causing the roof and walls to collapse.

See Full Article

The fire began at approximately 11 p.m., at the Classy Lanes Stables Training Centre in Puslinch, Ont. Puslinch is a township located approximately 20 kilometres southeast of Guelph.

Firefighters were called in from several communities in the area, but the fire could not be extinguished before dozens of horses had died.

"It's devastating. These are by and large family members to us," Ben Wallace said in an interview with Newstalk1010 on Tuesday. Wallace is an owner and trainer who lost 17 horses in the fire. Wallace told CTV Toronto that one of his horses that died in the fire was racing star Apprentice Hanover, who is worth more than $1 million.

"There's 44 carcasses laying here," Wallace told Newstalk1010 from the scene of the fire, his voice cracking. He said the barn holds 46 horses, but there were at least two empty stalls at the time, so he wasn't sure exactly how many horses had died.

Wallace said he'd been at the stable at the time, and that the fire had engulfed one of the buildings so quickly that no one was able to get to the horses.

"The smoke was so dense that you couldn't go near it. They probably all suffocated before they perished."

"This is not an old wooden barn, it's a state-of-the-art facility… It's the best place in Canada and houses the best horses in Canada," he said. Classy Lane opened in 2003, and can accommodate as many as 222 horses, according to the stable's website.

The majority of the horses are owned by trainers who race them at southern Ontario racetracks including the Mohawk, Woodbine and Flamboro Downs tracks, Puslinch Fire Chief Steve Goode told reporters.

Goode said the cause of the fire is not yet known, but crews are working with provincial police and the Ontario Fire Marshal to investigate.

"This is a multi-million dollar fire, the highest dollar loss that we have experienced in our township," he said.

He said the building is not structurally sound, so crews will have to take some of the building down before investigating further.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Sentencing hearing for mom who 'gambled away' son's life with holistic medicine

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY - Sentencing arguments are to be heard today for a woman who treated her son with holistic remedies before he died of a strep infection. Tamara Lovett was found guilty in January of criminal negligence causing death. Source
  • Trapped girl a symbol for Mexico's earthquake rescue efforts

    World News CBC News
    A delicate effort to reach a young girl buried in the rubble of her school stretched into a daylong vigil for Mexico, much of it broadcast across the nation as rescue workers still struggled in rain and darkness early Thursday trying to pick away unstable debris and reach her. Source
  • Trapped girl a symbol of Mexico's quake rescue efforts

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY -- A delicate effort to reach a young girl buried in the rubble of her school stretched into a daylong vigil for Mexico, much of it broadcast across the nation as rescue workers still struggled in rain and darkness early Thursday trying to pick away unstable debris and reach her. Source
  • UN mission in Congo faces reckoning over sex abuse scandal

    World News CTV News
    BUNIA, Congo - The Congolese orphan girl haunts the UN's top human rights official, even though more than a decade has passed since he heard her story. It was a big day in this town in northeastern Congo: A top UN delegation was paying a high-profile visit. Source
  • Germany jails Syrian refugee over UN observer's abduction

    World News CBC News
    A German court has convicted a Syrian refugee of being an accessory to a war crime against humanitarian operations over his participation in the 2013 kidnapping of a United Nations observer. The Stuttgart state court Wednesday sentenced the defendant, who has been identified only as Suliman Al-S. Source
  • South Korea to resume aid to North Korea, but doesn't set timeline

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - South Korea on Thursday decided to resume humanitarian aid to North Korea to help children and pregnant women, but didn't determine when to provide the $8 million worth of assistance amid tensions created by Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests. Source
  • More charges, new defendant in Texas human smuggling case

    World News CTV News
    SAN ANTONIO - The driver of a semitrailer found outside a San Antonio Walmart in July packed with immigrants, including 10 who died, faces additional charges in the smuggling case and another defendant has now been charged, federal officials said Wednesday. Source
  • Hurricane Maria destroys homes, triggers flooding in Puerto Rico

    World News CBC News
    The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers Wednesday in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. Source
  • A stunned Puerto Rico seeks to rebuild after Hurricane Maria

    World News CBC News
    The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers Wednesday in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. Source
  • At UN, Myanmar tries to reassure the world over Rohingya crisis

    World News CTV News
    Myanmar tried to reassure the world Wednesday about its handling of the mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh and said it is committed to resolving sectarian tensions in the strife-hit region. The Southeast Asian nation is facing accusations of ethnic cleansing and "savagery" by its security forces. Source