MONTEBELLO (CBSLA.com) — Ten horses were killed in a fire that destroyed two stables in Montebello in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The fire broke out around midnight in a stable on Bluff Road. There was no one tending the animals when the fire started. When neighbors opened the stalls to let the horses out, many ran for their lives.
Neighbors called firefighters when they saw flames.
It took firefighters about two hours to put the fire out. They spent another seven hours dousing hot spots, reports CBS2's Joy Benedict.
Firefighters had a hard time getting to the stables, which were at the bottom of the hill.
Crews were also hampered by panicked horses, which charged at firefighters,
"The horses were running loose because they didn't have bridles for all of them so while the firemen were going down the driveway we have horses and workers and coming up the driveway," said Montebello Fire Department Battalion Chief Richard Frederickson.
Twenty-two horses were saved but ten horses were killed along with two goats and more than 100 chickens.
Some of the surviving horses bolted during the fire, but they were corralled by Sunday morning. The horses were owned individually by people who rented out stalls.
No people were injured.
Benedict spoke to horse owners grateful that neighbors were able to handle the situation and save many of the animals.
Ricardo Macias came as soon as he heard Rancho Los Laurales had a fire. He came looking for his horse.
"I was expecting bad news," he said. "To me, my horse is part of my family."
Rodrigo Cabral owns a stable nearby. He took in several horses to help out.
"I'm just trying to do the best to help my neighbors," he said.
The cause of the fire hasn't been determined.
(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)
for more features.