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Investigation Reveals Official Horse Death Count In Hudson Valley Barn Fire

The smoldering remains of a barn fire that killed 24 horses.
The smoldering remains of a barn fire that killed 24 horses. Photo Credit: GoFundMe

The official death count in the early Saturday morning fire that turned deadly at a horse barn in Orange County has been disclosed.

The remains of 24 horses were found following the blaze, according to an investigation by Orange County fire officials.

Orange County Deputy Fire Commissioner Vini Tankasali said all the horses housed in the barn at the Mount Hope Training Center were killed in the blaze.

Otisville firefighters, along with 10 other departments, responded to the fire at 3 a.m. Saturday after a center employee got up to feed the animals and found the barn on fire.

"There are no hydrants in that area so Otisville was requesting that all departments bring their tanker trucks to have enough water," Tankasali said.

Tankasali said the barn was fully engulfed in flames when the department arrived and that firefighters worked for more than 40 minutes to bring the inferno under control.

The fire also destroyed barn, estimated to be worth more than $1 million, which is owned by Rich Banca of Franklin Lakes.

The horses were housed in the center of the barn.

"The fire was fully involved by the time firefighters arrived," Tankasali said.

He added that an investigation is ongoing and that investigators on scene have not determined a cause of the fire.

A GoFundMe page has been set-up for one of the trainers who was working with the horses and lost everything he owns.

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