'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

  • Early agreement reached in dispute over Suez Canal ship

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO -- The owners and insurers of the giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week earlier this year have reached an agreement in principle over their dispute with canal authorities, representatives from both sides said Wednesday. Source
  • Israel's new government OKs first settlement construction

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- An Israeli defense ministry body advanced plans for 31 West Bank settlement construction projects Wednesday, the first such move under the country's new government. The plans approved by the Civil Administration include a shopping center, a special needs school and a number of infrastructure projects and zoning changes in existing West Bank settlements, Israeli media reported. Source
  • Watchdog calls rate of child sexual abuse in Nunavut a crisis

    Canada News CTV News
    Nunavut's representative for children and youth says the territory's high rate of child sexual abuse amounts to a crisis. Jane Bates testified this week before legislature members to discuss her office's 2019-2020 annual report. Source
  • Nearly $37 million needed to fix ‘critical’ deterioration at 24 Sussex Drive: NCC

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- It will cost $175 million over 10 years to restore Canada’s six official residences to good condition, according to a new report from the National Capital Commission. The homes—including the prime minister’s residence at 24 Sussex Drive—have deteriorated due to years of underfunding. Source
  • Japanese court says married couples must stick to single surname

    World News CBC News
    Japan's Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that laws requiring married couples to have the same surname are constitutional, dismissing a challenge by three couples seeking to keep separate names. The decision to affirm a 2015 Supreme Court ruling was a disappointment for rights activists who say the laws violate the constitution's guarantee of gender equality, since women almost always sacrifice their surnames. Source
  • Airstrike in Ethiopia's Tigray kills more than 50: witnesses

    World News CTV News
    NAIROBI, KENYA -- An airstrike hit a busy market in Ethiopia's northern Tigray village of Togoga on Tuesday and killed at least 51 people, according to health workers who said soldiers blocked medical teams from traveling to the scene. Source
  • 'It was a hoot': Owl with broken wing that was coaxed into a dog kennel set free in B.C. after recovery

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- An owl with a broken wing that was rescued by highway patrol officers last fall has been set free after its recovery. Last September, a BC Highway Patrol officer spotted an injured owl on Highway 7 near Ruby Creek between Agassiz and Hope. Source
  • Nova Scotia reports no new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday; active cases drop to 60

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting no new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, as well as 14 recoveries, as the active number of cases in the province drops to 60 - the lowest number of active cases reported in the province since April 18. Source
  • Backhoe accident claims life of man near Port Burwell, Ont.

    Canada News CTV News
    MALAHIDE TOWNSHIP, ONT. -- OPP are currently investigating a sudden death in Malahide Township just west of Port Burwell, Ont. Just after 11 a.m. emergency crews were called in for reports of a man in his early 50s who was found without vital signs. Source
  • U.S. airline staff call for crackdown on unruly passengers as reports of bad behaviour spike

    World News CBC News
    Airlines, flight attendants and pilots are calling for the U.S. Justice Department to prosecute unruly and violent passengers. In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland Monday, the trade group Airlines for America and unions for pilots and flight crews cited a "substantial increase" and a "growing escalation" in unruly and disruptive behaviour from airline passengers, particularly toward crew members. Source