SHARON (CBS/AP) – Nine horses and two donkeys were killed in a three-alarm barn fire in Sharon late Tuesday night.

It happened just before midnight at the Yankee Kennels on North Main Street.

Capt. Bert Cummings said firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the stables and when they tried to enter the fire quickly took off.

Mud also made it difficult for firefighters from a half dozen towns  to reach the barn.

Cummings said none of the horses could be saved.

No people were hurt.

State Fire Marshal investigators were on scene Wednesday looking for the cause.

“At this time, it does appear accidental but, again, that depends on the investigation,” Sharon Deputy Chief Steven Cummings told WBZ-TV’s Ron Sanders.

There was an abundance of hugs for the long time owner of Yankee Kennels, Ed Little, as daylight came. 

“I got in to one horse and the smoke was too great and I got out, for my own safety I got out of there,” lamented Little.

As the horse owners gathered throughout the morning, they consoled each other but most of them had a difficult time talking about their losses.  “I’m more concerned about my wife and my kids. It’s tough,” said Jeff Feldman who lost J.J., Jumpin’ Jack Flash, the horse his 11-year-old son Benjamin, 13-year-old daughter Elizabeth and wife Meredith rode.

“It’s like losing a member of your family. They’ve had him since he was a baby, his whole life. And you hope your kids are going to grow up and enjoy him for their whole life and then you wake up and he’s gone,” explained Terri Hoyt, a friend of the Feldmans.

Ed Little was a firefighter in town for 36 years. He says he had checked the barn shortly past 8 p.m. Tuesday and saw nothing unusual.  Selectmen came by Wednesday to see if there was anything they could do.

“Ed has tried to keep this place as a farm and to keep it Sharon, what we call Sharon,” said Walter “Joe” Roach who chairs the Board of Selectmen.

Ed credits the farm his father started in 1952 with prolonging his life. “I owe it all to these animals. And to be honest with you, will I rebuild? I don’t know if I’ll rebuild but I’ll always have animals,” he said.

It’s still not clear how the fire started.

The owner told WBZ-TV he’s not sure yet if he will rebuild.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (2)
  1. Cynic says:

    It is extremely sad that 9 horses died.Considering that Sharon is the only “Non-Smoking Town” in Massachusetts I would find it difficult to raise any sympathy if it were 9 Human residents of Sharon.

  2. Kimberly Savino says:

    Two of my horses were killed in this fire: Wish, age 6, and Spirit, 13. I’d raised Spirit since she was born, & Wish was a rescue who was intended to be a theraputic riding horse when he got older & completed his training. Both horses were very special; It’s hard to believe that we’ll never again walk beside them. It is my hope that a cause is identified soon. It certainly won’t change what has happened, but we need a reason to explain this tragedy. My appreciation extends to the Town of Sharon employees, incl Fire Chief Mann & the on-duty firefighters, Officer Derry of the Police, Diane Malcomson and other officers from Animal Control, and to the boarders and local residents who provided support and assistance to everyone. I’d also like to thank Officer Nadya Branca from the MSPCA, for the support she provided to us throughout the day, and encourage readers to please donate to their nonprofit law enforcement and public assistance efforts.

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