CHARLESTOWN, W.Va., Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Four barns burned early Monday near the Charles Town Races racetrack in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, killing 24 race horses, authorities said.
Ed Smith of the Independent Fire Company said the fire was reported about 4:40 a.m..
Damage to the barns was estimated at about $1.2 million but the value of the horses wasn't known, The (Martinsburg, W.Va.) Journal reported.
While the blaze was to be investigated by a state fire marshal, Smith said it was not believed to have been arson, The Journal said.
The Hagerstown, Md. Herald-Mail reported 25 of the horses died in one barn and two were in another.
Lenny Hale, executive director of the Charles Town Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, said the group was seeking donations to help trainers who lost horses.
"We haven't had the best day here, but it could have been a lot worse if it had been windy and it spread faster," Hale said. "But we've gotten an overwhelming amount of support."
|Additional U.S. News Stories|
OGDEN, Utah, June 17 (UPI) --Police have identified the victim of Sunday's shooting in a Roman Catholic church in Utah as James Evans; his son-in-law was charged with the crime.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, June 17 (UPI) --Despite massive spending on Western weapons, the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf are "unable to secure themselves from any external threat" -- meaning Iran – and are running up huge public and foreign debt, a gulf think tank says.