Update: Lightning to blame for Orange Co. equestrian center fire

The Orange County Fire Marshal tells WNCN lightning is to blame for a fire at an equestrian center Thursday night.

Five horses were rescued as the barn went up in smoke.

As daylight broke Friday, the owner and neighbors could see that the DK-USA Sporthorse Equestrian Center off Mount Hermon Church Road is in shambles after what was believed to be a fire caused by lightning.

“This is a one-of-a-kind horse barn and training facility,” said neighbor Chuck Miller, a veterinarian. “You don’t see anything like this pretty much anywhere around. Europe is where you see things like this.”

But Miller, who helped rescue the horses, puts it all in perspective. “You can replace a barn, but you can’t replace lives,” said Miller, who is a horse owner himself.

He said it was frightening for him and the horses. “They don’t understand,” Miller said of the horses. “There’s fire in the roof above and they’re in these stalls and they’re screaming and rearing and we’re trying to get the doors open and get them out.”

The owner Ole Strigel, who said he is numb as a result of the fire, plans to rebuilt the barn, which was built seven years ago.

Copyright 2015 WNCN. All rights reserved.

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