HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Owners of the Cedar Knoll Farm in Hanover are devastated after an electrical fire destroyed their barn and killed nine horses last week.
The blaze broke out just before 3 p.m. on Friday. When Hanover Fire crews arrived on the scene, the barn was already engulfed in flames, forcing crews to go into defensive mode.
“It’s devastating. It’s heartbreaking. This is our heart. This is our life,” said Michaela Traylor Burke, a daughter of the farm’s owners, who said her dad, Uni, ran to the barn when he smelled smoke, trying to save the animals.
“He described it to us. He said it was so smoke and fire-filled that he ran in, got one [horse], caught his breath. Then the fire got too much that he wasn’t able to get any more out,” Burke said.
The farm confirms several horses did escape, and one was treated for minor burns; however, they are still mourning the lives of the nine who did not make it out.
“It hurts, it really does,” said Alex Bruce, who lost her horse. “It was a loss, and we never got to say goodbye, so there’s a void right now.”
Julia Matthews also shared memories with 8News about her horse.
“She was a very special mare to me, there will never be another one,” she said.
Cedar Knoll has been open since 1983, serving as a boarding farm and offering horse riding lessons. Burke told 8News that the farm is still operating; however, there is a long road to rebuilding what was lost.
“It makes you feel good to know that everyone is out there to help you during this hard time. We are basically rebuilding a life that we all created,” Burke said.
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