AIKEN — An early afternoon fire in the heart of Aiken’s equine district could have been a “real tragedy” if not for the quick actions of a nearby wedding party, a trainer said Saturday.
The Aiken Department of Public Safety responded to a fire call before 2 p.m. at Legacy Stable on Two Notch Road, according to Lt. David Turno.
He said the fire appeared to start in the office/tack room area of the L-shaped structure. The cause is under investigation, he said.
Ron Stevens, who trains horses for several clients including Dogwood Stable out of the Legacy barn, received a call on his way home from the golf course. He said 24 horses were in the stalls, but that several people familiar with the horse operation were at the wedding and jumped in to help.
“They smelled smoke and got all the horses out,” Stevens said. “It could have been a real tragedy.”
No people were injured, Stevens said.
Dogwood Stable is home to Palace Malice, winner of this year’s Belmont Stakes. Palace Malice is currently stabled in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in preparation for next week’s Jim Dandy Stakes.