We’ve all seen the devastation that fires can cause and the terrifying images of barns and homes being consumed while people and animals alike run for their lives. We’ve seen the images of horses having to be turned loose by their owners in hopes that they can escape. Only to watch them run around in a panic, or worse yet, staying in their stalls where they feel they are the safest while the fire consumes everything around them.
Horses react to fear either by fleeing or by remaining stubbornly where they feel most safe. When smoke and fire prevent them from seeing an immediate escape, they may try to remain in a “safe” place – in this case, the stall.
In the blink of an eye, a fire can destroy a barn structure and all its occupants, while the owners stand by helplessly. Many advances in residential fire protection have been made, but protecting barns is much more difficult because of the harsh environment and housing requirements of the horses in them.
There is no such thing as a fireproof building, especially in agricultural settings. Fires can grow quickly and give no warning. In most cases, if you see flames, it is already too late. The damage a fire cause grows exponentially with the amount of time it has burned. Fire is extremely dangerous at any stage of growth and controlling it is best left up to the professionals.
Most of the components in a horse barn are highly flammable. Stall walls are frequently constructed with wood and horses are usually standing in ample amounts of dried bedding, eating dried forages. Smoke and heat production increase as the fire smolders. By the end of this smoldering or “incipient” phase, enough heat has been generated to produce flames. Once flames are present, the fire is extremely dangerous and unpredictable. It grows rapidly and the heat produced becomes intense. The capabilities of fire extinguishers as a line of defense will soon be surpassed.
But these heroes in our video managed to save the poor horse from the fire. And we can only imagine how scared he was seeing all those flames around him, thinking that he has no escape.