SOUTH PARK TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A barn caught fire in South Park Township Sunday morning, trapping multiple horses inside.

According to Broughton Volunteer Fire Department fire chief Mark D’Alessandro, reports of the fire at Wallace and Ridge roads first came in around 8:30 a.m.

D’Alessandro says South Park Township police arrived first and attempted to open the stalls to let the horses out. Two horses escaped the flames, but seven other horses, two goats, a pig and an unknown number of chickens and ducks were trapped inside and died. The barn was completely destroyed.

“Hay, everything, you know, dry timber. Barns are often pretty old,” D’Alessandro said. “When you add all that together, and the wind today, it didn’t take long.”

He also added that there were some tractors with fuel being stored in the barn.

Flames began to spread to a second barn, but firefighters were able to prevent most of the damage.

Neighbors said the fire was a huge emotional blow.

“It’s a devastating loss, these horses are like a part of a person’s family,” Richard Brunetti said.

An owner of one of the escaped horses thanked officers for working to get the animal to safety.

“Thank you so much, it’s incredible, I’m glad he was able to trust you,” Becky Franc said.

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The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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