AIKEN — An electrical short caused a fire that heavily damaged a stable housing two dozens horses Saturday.
Aiken Department of Public Safety Capt. Brian Brazier said the fire started in the stable’s office near the electrical panel box. The blaze was extinguished in fewer than 30 minutes, he said.
“There was a large amount of fire, but we got it under control pretty quickly,” Brazier said.
Fire crews responded to the call about 2 p.m. at Legacy Stable on Two Notch Road. A nearby wedding that included people familiar with horses helped move 24 horses to safety.
“It was really a God thing that there were so many people around,” said Brad Stauffer, who with Ron Stevens trains horses for Dogwood Stable out of the Legacy barn.
Legacy Stable leases the barn from owner Rhett Riviere.
The more than 80-year-old wooden barn will never be used for horses again, Stauffer said.
“It’s 80 percent gone. It’ll be a total loss,” he said.
The horses were moved to a small empty barn at the Aiken Training Track immediately after the fire, Stauffer said. Soon, they will be moved to their new, permanent home in a larger barn at the track.
“All of the horses are in stalls. Training was back to normal for them this morning,” he said Monday.
Stauffer said the Aiken equine community has expressed support, offering to do whatever needs to be done to make sure the animals were cared for.
No horses were injured.