Fire Dept., City Looking into Response Time in Lexington Barn Fire

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Eric Reed, the owner of Mercury Equine Center, says he thinks more horses could have been saved in a weekend barn fire if the fire department had arrived sooner.

23 horses were killed in that barn fire early Sunday morning.

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According to Reed, it took 39 minutes for the fire department to arrive after they were notified, and say they called 911 twice asking where firefighters were.

The Lexington Fire Department says officials from the department, E911 and the city are looking into the response time.

A spokesperson for the city released this statement regarding the investigation:

“After analyzing Fire Department and E 9-1-1 records, we estimate, from the time we received the first call, it took approximately 20 minutes for fire equipment to be dispatched and to arrive at Mercury Equine Center.

We continue to investigate the amount of time it took for the firetrucks to be dispatched. Once dispatched, it took the trucks approximately 13 minutes to reach the scene. Fire Department administration maintains that is a reasonable time, given road conditions and weather.”

Meantime, a gofundme page has been started to help the Mercury Equine Center rebuild and provide for the other horses.

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12/18/16 11:10 p.m.

Dozens of Horses Killed in Late Night Barn Fire

Saturday night’s storm may be to blame for the death of dozens of horses in Lexington.

Eric Reed, the owner of Mercury Equine Center, says he noticed flames coming from his horse barn just minutes after the storm rolled through.

“Called the fire department and the barn went up so fast,” said Reed.

Reed says he and some of his staff ran out to try and save the horses but the flames were too big.

“I felt the entrance of the door and I opened the door and by the time I opened the door the flames were already at a quarter of the barn destroyed. So at that point just started turning horses loose,” said Emory Brenklin, who works at the center.

Reed says they were able to save 13 horses but 23 valuable yearling and race horses were killed.

“You know my help, watching the sadness on their faces, the devastation with all the guys out here because these horses are like our family and it’s over,” said Reed.

While the loss is hard, Reed says it’s something they’re just going to have to work through.

“Well tomorrow we have to get up and go back to work. We still have 50 or 60 horses to train and take care of.

The horses killed in the fire were owned by clients from across the U.S.

One that was killed was actually scheduled to be in a race on Monday.