At least 16 horses killed in Brighton barn fire

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Barn fire kills 15 horses in Brighton on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (Photo: Brighton Fire Rescue)

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BRIGHTON, Colo. -- At least 16 horses were killed in an early-morning barn fire Tuesday that does not appear to be intentionally set, Brighton Fire Rescue District said.

Crews initially were called out just after 1 a.m. to the 14200 block of Harvest Road, but firefighters found the fire in the 14800 block of Powhaton Road, in a rural area east of Barr Lake and north of Denver International Airport.

Upon arrival, a barn about 60 feet by 80 feet was found to be fully involved in flames.

Firefighters did all they could to save the animals, but the intensity of the flames kept them from getting inside to rescue the horses.

"(Neighbors) saw it from a ways away through binoculars and called 911," Brighton Fire Rescue District spokeswoman Natalie Ridderbos said. "When we got here, the owners were not here and they had to be notified. They were understandably upset about the horses.

"The fire was blazing at that point and there was nothing anyone could do."

Crews were hampered by the accessibility of water. With no hydrants nearby, all water used to bring the fire under control had to be trucked in. The Hudson Fire Department assisted in knocking down the fire.

Ridderbos said the fire started in the southwest corner of the barn. The fire's origin is believed to be from a heat source where a refrigerator and light were located. The exact cause remains under investigation.

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