‘Suspicious’ fire kills 6 horses, destroys 2 barns in Lakewood

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Six horses died early Saturday when two adjacent barns caught fire behind some houses in Lakewood.

West Metro Fire Rescue said investigators were gathering evidence at four "suspicious" fires.

One fire happened at two adjacent barns near West Third Avenue and Benton Street, not far from West Sixth Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard.

There was a dumpster fire and a tire fire less than a block away at West Fourth Avenue and Sheridan. There was another dumpster fire about a mile-and-a-half away at West 22nd Avenue and Sheridan.

“The fact that there were separate fires in such a close vicinity, certainly makes it suspicious in nature,” West Metro Fire Rescue Division Chief Gary Armstrong.

The first call came a little after 3 a.m.

There were 10 horses altogether in the barns. Only four of them survived.

“Whether it’s a car, or a dumpster, or a barn, those spread,” Armstrong said. “And those can kill people. Tragically here, they killed several horses, and left several broken hearts.”

Armstrong said both barns were destroyed. One firefighter suffered a minor injury.

“No civilian injuries, which is wonderful, but our hearts go out to the owners of the horses,” he said.

Investigators from West Metro Fire Rescue, the Lakewood Police Department, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were working together on the investigation.