Day At The Track

More than two dozen horses saved in Saratoga fire

05:14 AM 29 Mar 2014 NZDT
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Harness racing harness racing
Fire damage to the horse barn at the Saratoga Casino and Raceway Friday morning
Photo courtesy Mayor Joanne Yepsen
A fireman stands behind the fenced off area after the fire was put out
Photo by Erica Miller - The Saratogain


SARATOGA SPRINGS, New York — Authorities say more than two dozen horses have been rescued from a burning barn at the harness racing track in Saratoga Springs.

City fire officials tell the Times Union of Albany ( ) that one of the wooden barns at Saratoga Casino and Raceway caught fire around 6 a.m. Friday. The fire department says the blaze started in the area of the tack room and rose into an attic space before firefighters confined it.

Firefighters, track security guards and horse owners took at least 30 horses from the barn. Officials say none of the animals was injured.

The fire was extinguished by 7 a.m.

Fire officials say the barn is an older structure that doesn't have a sprinkler system.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

From the Times Union of Albany


Friday morning at 6:15, a fire was discovered by a backstretch security manager and local horsemen in barn #15 at Saratoga Casino and Raceway.  All horses were immediately evacuated and no injuries have been reported.  The Saratoga Springs Fire Department quickly contained the fire and is working to determine the cause.  The 26 stalls in the barn were fully occupied at the time and all horses have been safely relocated to other barns at the facility.  Damage to the barn was confined to 6-8 stalls and 2 tack rooms on the west end. 

Saratoga Casino and Raceway’s backstretch includes 34 horse barns with 1,040 stalls.  There are currently 600 horses housed at the facility.  There have been no significant fires in over 20 years.  Inspections of the 50 structures located at the facility are conducted regularly by local fire officials, most recently in May 2013.

“The quick response of our team members and horsemen ensured the safety of all horses and personnel impacted by today’s events,” said Saratoga Casino and Raceway’s COO, Jamie Hartman.  “We are also very grateful for the immediate response of our local Saratoga Springs Fire Department, whose quick response ensured that the fire was quickly contained.”

The live harness racing schedule will not be impacted

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