PORT DEPOSIT — An investigation is continuing after a blaze destroyed a commercial barn used for breeding horses, causing an estimated $500,000 in damage to the structure and its contents, according to the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal.
“Investigators consider it a total loss,” Sr. Deputy State Fire Marshal Oliver J. Alkire, an agency spokesman, told the Cecil Whig on Tuesday morning.
No horses were killed or injured in the fire.
An employee of the property owner, Anchor & Hope Farm Inc., called 911 at 12:26 p.m. Monday after discovering heavy smoke coming from the barn in the 100 block of Anchor Hope Lane, fire officials reported.
Approximately 50 firefighters from area volunteer fire companies battled the blaze for about 90 minutes, before bringing it under control, fire officials said. Water Witch Volunteer Fire Co. of Port Deposit served as the on-scene command unit, fire officials added.
An ambulance transported one firefighter from the scene to an area hospital, where that person was treated for an unspecified injury and then released, fire officials reported.
The fire caused an estimated $400,000 in structural damage to the 100-by-30-foot outbuilding and destroyed approximately $100,000 in property contained inside the barn, according to Alkire, who noted that the barn was part of an equestrian center.
MOSFM investigators determined that the blaze started inside the barn but, as of Tuesday, the cause of the fire remained under investigation “pending further examination of electrical wiring,” he reported.
Anyone with information that might help in this investigation is asked to call the MOSFM’s Northeast Regional Office at 410-836-4844.
Anchor & Hope Farm Inc., which has been in operation for approximately 55 years, posted a notice regarding the fire on its Facebook page Tuesday morning.
“As many of you know, we experienced every barn and horse owners worst nightmare yesterday. Our barn burned down. Every horse and human is safe, and for that we will be forever grateful. We will rebuild. We will be OK. We felt the horse community rally around us with an outpouring of support and offers of help. Thank you to everyone,” the notice reads.
It continues, “We have 10 yearlings that are headed to the fall sales. Realistically having them prepped and ready is not possible, and the best solution is to sell them off the farm as quickly as possible. We have an awesome group of colts and fillies by Bourbon Courage and Imagining and a Mineshaft colt. It breaks our hearts as we take great pride in showing everyone off at the sales, but we need to focus on rebuilding. Pictures and pedigrees will be coming soon, so please feel free to be in touch if anyone is interested.”
The post ends with, “Thank you to everyone again. We will rebuild. We will be OK.”