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Fire Destroys Barn, Kills 2 Horses In Butler County

HERMAN TOWNSHIP (KDKA) -- A devastating overnight fire destroyed a barn in Butler County and left two horses dead.

The fire broke out just after 3 a.m. along Schiebel Road in Herman Township.

Even sun shining on the beautiful Butler County farmland Tuesday afternoon couldn't keep heartache at bay for the Toomey family.

"When I looked out the window and seen how engulfed it was, I ran back to the hall and told my wife the barn was on fire," said Dan Toomey, the owner of the barn.

"I made it down to the pool and my husband said it was too late, so I screamed," added Becky Toomey, Dan's wife.

A paddock gate and surrounding fence is all that's left of a five-stall hay-filled wooden barn that sheltered two riding horses. A fire completely consumed everything early Tuesday morning.

Becky still can't believe she's lost her Tennessee Walker, named Beau. Her sister's brown and white Mustang, named Sierra, was also killed in the fire.

"I saw him yesterday and said, 'The weather's gonna get nice, buddy," said Becky.

Becky and Beau have been exploring the countryside together for four years on the property just off Scheibel Road.

"The power line that came from the pole over to the back of the barn where the power comes in, the fire melted the line off," said Dan.

Though firefighters got to the scene quickly, because of that downed line they had to wait for a utility crew to shut off electricity.

Beau and Sierra were found just a few feet away from each other.

It's not clear yet how the fire started.

Dan says only three items were plugged in, two bucket warmers to keep the horses drinking water from freezing and a radio.

"We leave a radio playing down there for them at night," said Dan.

That was to keep them company.

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